Illini swimming, diving team shakes up lineup, edges in-state rival

By Alex Iniguez

The Illini swimming and diving team topped Illinois State on Saturday, 172-128, following a busy schedule last week.

Head coach Sue Novitsky played with the lineup to give the Illini a different look. But the team fought hard under unfamiliar circumstances, winning 12 of 16 events.

“It was a very different lineup than previous meets,” Novitsky said. “I put people in some different races, so that they would have to step up and compete.”

One of the swimmers competing in a different event was Marissa Clapp, swimming two events she was not accustomed to: the 200-meter butterfly and the 200 free relay. The junior won the 200 butterfly, in addition to setting the pool record in the 200 breaststroke.

“It was fun swimming two events I am not really used to doing,” Clapp said. “It’s good to change it up every once in a while, but I am definitely excited to swim my regular events at our next meet.”

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    Clapp was one of nine Illini swimmers to capture individual victories. Senior Kellie Stevens took home the 50 freestyle and senior Meghan Bradley won the 200 backstroke. Sophomores Kristen Kloeckener and Anna Johnson won their first titles of the year.

    “To be successful as a team, it’s not just your top athletes that have to contribute, it’s everyone,” Novitsky said.

    The Illini will have a lot of time to work on competing as a team, as the squad is idle until Nov. 30.

    “We’re going to get a lot of training in, and that’s what this time of year is for,” Novitsky said. “We’re still pretty sloppy in a lot of areas. Turns and finishes are things that we definitely need to tighten up.”