Swimming and diving continues to make waves



By Jessica Glade

The Illinois swimming and diving team continued to make waves at the Activities and Recreation Center by adding its second season win Friday, defeating Michigan State, 199-154. The team faced a challenge in the form of a two-day layout.

On Thursday the team jumped out to a 120-66 lead and won seven of the first 10 events.

“(Thursday) was a great team effort where multiple people stood up and were competing and contributing to the overall team sport,” head coach Sue Novitsky said. “That’s something we’re going to highlight coming out of this weekend and again make sure that’s what we’re looking for every time we stop on deck.”

Individual performances stood out during the first day.

Freshman Torrey Loper won her first collegiate event in the 100-yard freestyle. Senior Marissa Clapp also improved on her record time in the 200-yard individual medley (IM), with a time of two minutes and 4.45 seconds.

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    Junior Kristen Kloecknener won her first win of the season in the 200-yard freestyle.

    Though the Illini fared well on day one, they knew they had to come back and finish the meet Friday.

    “I know we were really excited the first day,” freshman Michelle Mehnert said. “We kind of went after it, we had really good attitude.”

    The team came back Friday to win four more events, winning a total of 11 out of the 19 events in the meet. Despite the win, the second day wasn’t easy.

    “We were a little flat which I was I thought might be one of the things we were looking for and that is coming back the second day and be able to compete at that same level with that same energy,” Novitsky said.

    Once again, Clapp was a force in the pool, winning two events. She took first place in the 400-yard IM and again in the 200-yard breaststroke.

    Junior CeCe Marizu also contributed to the win, taking first place in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:03.68. Meanwhile, freshman diver Britni Fisher achieved the NCAA Zone qualifying mark in the one-meter dive with a score of 275.03.

    “Overall, it was a good meet for us,” Novitsky said. “CeCe Marizu, she had a great 200 backstroke today and she’s well ahead of where she has been the past couple of years right now which is good to see her stepping up. And Anna Johnson was racing well this weekend and Marissa Clapp again, racing well. We’re starting to put the little things together but it’s one of those things where you’ve got to keep working on the details, but just because you might be a little tired you’ve got to stay sharp.”