Swimming and diving dominate the pool in final home meet

Trevor Greene The Daily Illini Illinois Anna Johnson is congratulated by a teammate after swimming the last leg of the 200 yard frestyle relay during the meet in the ARC pool against Illinois State University on Saturday, January 24th. Illinois beat Illinois state 219 to 81.

Trevor Greene The Daily Illini Illinois’ Anna Johnson is congratulated by a teammate after swimming the last leg of the 200 yard frestyle relay during the meet in the ARC pool against Illinois State University on Saturday, January 24th. Illinois beat Illinois state 219 to 81.

By Jessica Glade

if(pos=="center"){LeftPosition=(screen.width)?(screen.width-w)/2:100;TopPosition=(screen.height)?(screen.height-h)/2:100;}

else if((pos!="center" && pos!="random") || pos==null){LeftPosition=0;TopPosition=20}

settings='width='+w+',height='+h+',top='+TopPosition+',left='+LeftPosition+',scrollbars='+scroll+',location=no,directories=no,status=no,menubar=no,toolbar=no,resizable=no';

win=window.open(mypage,myname,settings);}

// -->

Saturday was Senior Day for the swimming and diving team, and the Illini that were honored were sent out on a sweet note. Illinois crushed Illinois State, 219-81, dominating the pool, winning 14 out of 16 events and sweeping the top three spots in seven events.

Along with the big win, senior Marissa Clapp celebrated her last home meet with a personal record. Clapp broke the 13-year-old pool record in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4 minutes, 21.28 seconds.

“That’s really exciting for me,” Clapp said. “Coming in, I would never even think I would have gotten any of those records because they are way, way far out from anything I would ever dream of going and getting. I’m very proud of myself.”

graphic

photo DI multimedia

photo

Swimming takes win on Senior Day

Click to view a slideshow.

Clapp also took first place in the 200-yard freestyle, an event she usually does not compete in. Fellow seniors Katie Theissen and Ali Keehn also had strong performances to close out their final home meet. Theissen placed first in the 100-yard backstroke and the 100-yard freestyle, and Keehn was part of the winning 200-yard medley relay team.

“I thought (the seniors) stepped up and they did really well,” head coach Sue Novitsky said. “It was great to see them race well and look back and see how they’ve improved through their career and aged. Obviously they’ve matured and are able to handle this kind of situation really well with a lot of poise because obviously there’s a lot of emotion in the day, and they were able to contain that and put together a lot of really good races.”

The seniors were not the only members who had strong performances on Saturday. Ten different Illini took first place on Saturday. There was a strong showing by the junior class, with victories from twin sisters Amy and Anna Johnson, Kelly Smithwick, CeCe Marizu, Amy Forsberg and Jen Ivarson. The freshmen came out strong as well, with April McKee taking first in the 200-yard breaststroke and diver Britni Fisher finishing first in the one-meter diving competition.

Though Saturday was the team’s final home meet and the Illini celebrated with a big win, the day seemed to be more about having fun. The Illini came into the meet in the midst of their toughest training period of the season and admitted to fatigue, but for this competition, it was all about going out and just racing.

“Well this meet, compared to last one, I feel like the girls swam with more fire, more energy,” junior Amy Johnson said. “I think that we’re getting ready for our championship meet, and it’s all coming together. A lot of us are still feeling pretty tired, but we’re having fun too and that’s the most important part.”

Clapp looked back on the day and was happy with how her final home meet went and how her teammates performed.

“I’m very pleased with today,” Clapp said. “We almost swept every event – one, two, three – that’s good to not even have that first place but to have multiple (scores ranked high). This is our last home meet, which is only my fourth home meet. I just wanted to leave my mark today.

“I wasn’t really stressed out or anything, I just wanted to have fun and enjoy the day.”