Swimmers win one, lose one at Mizzou

By Alex Iniguez

The Illinois swimming and diving team finished up a busy weekend by winning one meet and losing another on Saturday at the Mizzou Dual Meet Challenge.

The meets came after a quick turnaround from Friday’s split results against Missouri State and No. 20 Virginia Tech. The team topped the reigning NCAA Division II Champion, Drury, 98-50, in the Saturday morning contest. In the evening meet, the Illini were defeated by No. 20 Missouri 124-35.

Against Drury, Illinois took seven of eight events, which included junior Marissa Clapp’s victories in the 100-meter individual medley and the 200 breaststroke, en route to a dominating victory.

“The team was not fazed by the quick turnaround with the way that we practice, so they were focused and ready to go this morning,” head coach Sue Novitsky said in a press release.

The Illini swimmers did not fare as well against Missouri in the nightcap. The team struggled to win races, the majority of which were sprints. The brightest spot in the meet was Clapp’s performance.

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    The junior set a personal record and scored an NCAA B-Cut time in the 400 individual medley, qualifying her for the NCAA Championships.

    Friday provided a tough test for the Illini. The team defeated Missouri State, 115.5-32.5, and lost to Virginia Tech 101-47 in the double-dual meet. Novitsky was pleased with her team’s performance.

    “We stayed strong and competed with a top-20 team the entire meet, with a few races decided by a couple tenths of a second,” Novitsky said.

    “The team came stepped up and raced like we knew they could,” she added.

    Clapp took the 200 individual medley and senior Kellie Stevens captured the 200 freestyle to lead the Illini charge. Sophomore diver Kyla Bachtell also had a strong performance, finishing fourth out of 21 divers on the one-meter board.

    The competitions this weekend showed the resiliency of the Illini to go out and swim three meets in two days.

    “The team is up to the mental challenge,” Novitsky said. “This will help for the championship meets at the end of the season.”

    The team will head to Normal next weekend for a dual meet against Illinois State University.