Swimming takes second place at Oakland, loses to Michigan State

By Alex Iniguez

The Fighting Illini swimming and diving team finished up a busy weekend on Saturday, losing a heartbreaker to Michigan State, 157-141.

Junior Marissa Clapp led the Illini, winning the 100-meter and 200 breaststroke.

Sophomore Jen Ivarson secured her fourth victory of the tough weekend, taking the 200 butterfly. Despite winning 9 of 16 events on the day, the team could not quite seal the deal.

“Those little points made a big difference today,” head coach Sue Novitsky said. “We’re still working on having that complete meet, from start to finish.”

The Illini finished second in the tri-meet at Oakland University on Friday in Rochester, Mich. The girls topped Oakland 194-104 and lost to the University of Toledo 183-115.

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    Ivarson and Clapp took two events and freshman Meghan Mason won her first career race, the 100 freestyle.

    “We worked with (Mason) this week to help her from getting too nervous before meets,” Novitsky said. “And she responded well tonight, swimming her own race. This will only help her confidence as we move forward.”

    The team is idle until Nov. 2, when it will travel to Missouri for a three-day competition. The dual meet competition features Missouri, Virginia Tech, Southern Illinois, Missouri State, Drury and the Illini.

    The weekend served as a measure of the team’s performance during the early stages of the season.

    “We were sloppy with details this weekend,” Novitsky said. “Executing the little things, like turns and finishes will help, along with starting off aggressive making the most of early races. The season is still young, but we will continue to work hard in practice to get better and make sure we are at our best come February and March.”