Women’s swimming falls short to Iowa, prepares for Quad Duals

By Alex Iniguez

They say practice makes perfect. For CeCe Marizu, practice may not make perfect, but it certainly helps. The sophomore swimmer had an impressive performance at Iowa this past weekend, winning the 200-meter backstroke with a career-best time of 2:03.60. Her time was good enough for the seventh-best in Illinois history, but it was not quite enough, as the Illini fell to the Iowa Hawkeyes, 179-120.

“CeCe’s been taking up her level and consciously making every practice count,” head coach Sue Novitsky said.

“She’s swimming with a lot of confidence, and that’s coming from the way she’s practicing.”

Marizu was not the only Illini swimmer to perform well. Junior Marissa Clapp finished first in the 200 individual medley and 200 breaststroke events, adding to her already impressive season record.

Clapp has won event titles in seven of the nine meets this season. In diving, sophomore Kyla Bachtell took second place on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards, including a season-best score of 244.80 on the 1 meter.

While there were some solid performances for Coach Novitsky’s squad, the team is feeling fatigued after an intense month of training over winter break followed by a difficult meet last weekend at Notre Dame.

“At this point in the season, we’re obviously far from fresh,” Novitsky said.

“I thought we definitely could have raced better.”

Luckily, the team has a week off before heading to West Lafayette, Ind. for the Big Ten Quad Duals. The Illini will square off against Purdue and nationally-ranked Minnesota and Wisconsin on Feb. 1-2.

“It’s nice that we have a weekend off now,” Novitsky said. “It’ll give them a chance to regroup and get things back under control. They should have a little more spunk going in. We’re going to be reminding them that this is just another opportunity to work on things before the Big Ten Championships.”