Illinois swim and dive heads to Big Ten Championships


Jessica Jutzi

Illini’s Megan Vuong swims the butterfly against Nebraska on Jan. 21st in the ARC pool.

By Erich Fisher, Staff writer

Illinois swim and dive head coach Sue Novitsky and her squad arrived in West Lafayette, Indiana, to compete Wednesday in the Big Ten Championship.

There will be four days of competition, concluding Saturday, with each day being an all-day event.

Sophomore Megan Vuong isn’t worried about having the stamina to compete throughout all four days.

“Throughout the whole year, we’ve been training where we have doubles on Mondays and Fridays,” Vuong said. “That, and I think our overall training will help us through the four-day event.”

Preparation hasn’t been very different for the Illini, according to Novitsky, but this doesn’t mean that her swimmers aren’t nervous for the event she said.

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“I think they’re always going to be a little nervous which is OK,” Novitsky said. “If they weren’t I would probably be a little nervous myself, but we’re just trying to remind them it’s a meet and we’ve done it many times before.”

Illinois is looking to get a better finish overall then it did last year when it finished 12th out of 13 Big Ten teams competing at the event with a score of 234.

Novitsky said the Illini are ready for this year’s championship.

“There’s been a little sickness here and there, but they’ve been in a really positive mood and have had great attitudes,” Novitsky said. “We’ve been having some fun in practice, staying relaxed and loose and that’s what we want.”

The atmosphere of the Big Ten Championship is something that Vuong and her teammates have always been looking forward to since last year.

“Most people swim a lot faster with being around your whole team and having them cheer you on,” Vuong said. “Everyone’s cheering, it’s really loud, and the atmosphere is just great.”

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