Swimmers head to Mizzou meet

By Alex Iniguez

After a two-week hiatus from competition, the Illini swimming and diving team will jump into the pool again this weekend in Columbia, Mo., at the Mizzou Dual Meet Challenge.

The team kicks off the challenge with a double-dual meet Friday at 7 p.m. against Missouri State and No. 20 Virginia Tech. On Saturday the team will take on Drury in the morning session and No. 20 Missouri in the night session.

The Illini lost 157-141 two weeks ago in a close meet to Michigan State. Head coach Sue Novitsky said the team must work on having a complete meet from start to finish in order to be successful. Novitsky hopes that the time away from the pool will help with performance.

“It was good to be able to stay on campus and get back on our training schedule,” Novitsky said. “We tried to get the most out of the two weeks away from competition and hopefully we will see that hard work pay off this weekend.”

Fatigue will play a large role in this weekend’s meets. How the team responds to the busy schedule will be a challenging test for the Illini.

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    “This season, we have only had one meet and this weekend we are going to have to have three meets in a row,” Novitsky said. “We will have to compete at a high level with little rest, so keeping our focus and energy between sessions will be crucial to our success.”

    Missouri and Virginia Tech are tied for No. 20 in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America poll, while Missouri State is ranked 14th in collegeswimming.com’s mid-major poll. Drury is the defending NCAA Division II national champion.