Illinois finishes 13th at Big Ten Championships


photo courtesy of david harmantas/Illini athletics

The Illini put their hands together during the Big Ten Championships in Iowa City, Iowa, over the weekend. The team came in 13th at the Big Ten Championships.

By Angelle Cortes, Staff Writer

The Illinois swim and dive team swam to a 13th-place finish at the four-day Big Ten Championships this weekend at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.

Illinois earned 33 lifetime-, 10 season- and four all-time personal bests at the meet.

On day one of the Championships, the Illini competed in the only two events – the 200-yard medley relay and 800-yard freestyle relay.

In the 200-yard medley relay, redshirt senior Aby Olson, seniors Rebecca Corzine and Kristin Anderson and freshman Divya Kale led the way, coming in with a time of 1:41.39, the fourth-fastest relay time in program history, to put the team in 12th place.

In the 800-yard freestyle relay, junior Jimena Martinez, sophomore Abigail Cabush and freshmen Athena Salafatinos and Hanna Aegerter took 13th place with a time of 7:27.10.

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Illinois headed into the second day in 12th place with 58 points, eight above 13th-place Indiana.

The second day of competition kicked off with 500-yard freestyle preliminaries. Sophomore Abigail Martin finished 71st overall, swimming to a personal-best time of 5:01.61.

Three Illini also competed in the 200-yard individual preliminaries, with junior Michelle McCord leading the trio with a season-best time of 2:02.66, earning 37th place.

Freshman Kaleigh Haworth (2:06.33) and senior Fiona McDermott (2:04.61) earned personal-best times and finished in 47th and 55th places, respectively.

In the 50-yard freestyle preliminaries, Anderson earned a 47th-place finish with a time of 23.21 seconds.

Sophomore Taylor Shegos made history at the end of day two, becoming the first Illinois diver in program history to receive the No. 1 seed in the preliminary round with a score of 289.00 in the one-meter dive.

Heading into session three late Wednesday night, the Illini started off with the 500-yard freestyle, with Cabush leading Illinois with a 58th place finish and a time of 4:57.72.

In the 200-yard individual medley, McCord swam to a season-best 2:02.40, good for a 37th place finish.

After a historic finish in the preliminaries, Shegos took eighth place in the A-final, earning a total of 239.25 points.

At the end of day two, Olson, Kale, Salafatinos and Anderson competed in the 400-yard medley freestyle, earning 13th place with a time of 3:43.34.

Illinois dropped to 13th place overall with 108 points, trailing Michigan State by three points, at the end of the second session.

Going into Thursday, Kale competed as the lone Illini in the 100-yard breaststroke. In the preliminaries, Kale finished with a time of 1:02.98, making her the seventh-fastest Illini in the event in program history, while her time of 29.44 second split in the 50-yard breaststroke was the fifth-fastest individual time in program history.

In the 100-yard backstroke preliminaries, Olson earned her first qualification with a 22nd place finish of 54.38 seconds.

Going into the C-final of the 100-meter backstroke, Olson finished in 8th place with a 24th overall finish to take a point for Illinois with a time of 55.13.

Shegos scored herself a spot in the A-finals of the three-meter dive after finishing preliminaries in eighth place with a score of 281.85.

In the A-final of the three-meter, Shegos finished eighth, scoring 261.90 and earning 22 points for the Illini.

Anderson, Cabush and juniors Emma Curtis and Gabrielle Loeck competed in the finals of the 200-yard freestyle relay, finishing in 11th place in front of Michigan State and Nebraska, earning a time of 1:32.34.

After day three, Illinois moved up to 12th place with a total score of 163 points going into the last day.

On the final day, Illinois competed in three sessions. Freshman Erin Young was the sole Illini competing in platform diving, earning 143.55 points and a 38th-place finish.

In the preliminaries of the 100-yard freestyle event, freshman Isabelle Guerra earned a lifetime-best 52.05 seconds.

In the 1,650-yard freestyle event, senior Emily Martin clocked a season-best time of 17:19.61, finishing in 35th place, while her sister, Abigail, finished in 36th with a time of 17:20.98.

After four days of competition, Ohio State earned the Big Ten title and totaled 1503.5 points.


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