The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Jass breaks 2 pool records, obtains swim & dive victory over Vanderbilt 

Illinois+swim+and+dive+starts+the+race+at+the+ARC+pool+against+Vanderbilt+yesterday.+
Lucas Sun
Illinois swim and dive starts the race at the ARC pool against Vanderbilt yesterday.

The first home meet for Illinois swim and dive ended successfully with a 156-106 victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores this Saturday. The team started and ended strong with multiple first-place wins, racking up big points overall.

As always, the matchup began with the 200-yard medley relay to loud cheering from the stands. The swimmers dove into the water with immense force, ultimately concluding with a pool record of 1:42.21 and a first-place win coming from junior freestyle swimmer Sydney Stoll, freshman breaststroke and freestyle swimmer Kylee Sessions, junior freestyle swimmer Logan Kuehne and senior freestyle and butterfly swimmer Lily Olson.

The medley relay was the first triumphant race for the Illini, followed by a first-place win from sophomore IM and freestyle swimmer Adelaide Reaser in the 1,000-yard freestyle. Reaser finished with a 10:10.14, putting her as the 10th-fastest swimmer in this event in Illinois history.

“For the first half, I just try to get into a good rhythm,” Reaser said. “By the time it gets to the end, I just think about finishing strong and making sure I’m putting everything I have into a strong finish, and not leaving anything behind.”

Later in the meet for the second distance race, junior butterfly and freestyle swimmer Paloma Canos Cervera obtained a first-place victory in the 500-yard freestyle (4:57.74). Reaser collected an additional third-place finish in this event as well (5:01.57).

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Another huge win came from Stoll in the 200-yard freestyle race (1:48.99). She swiftly moved through the water and kicked with all her strength, pushing herself an entire body length ahead of all the other swimmers in the pool.

Further points were gained by the Illini with two more successes coming from junior backstroke swimmer Suvana Baskar and senior freestyle swimmer Laurel Bludgen. Baskar had a great start and finish in her 100-yard backstroke (55.31), and Bludgen maintained fierce white-water kicks in her 50-yard freestyle race (23.57).

Extra noteworthy victories also came from sophomore breaststroke and IM swimmer Sara Jass, breaking two pool records in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:13.12) and 400-yard IM (4:15.46). She dominated in the breaststroke event with her long, underwater glides to come out on top.

“It was great, I was excited about it,” Jass said. “Couldn’t have done it, of course, without the team backing me and the coaches behind me for sure … I have little goals for how I’m going to perform in each race but also goals that aren’t related to swimming, leadership-wise trying to get the team rallied and ready to go.”

Having a strong support system within the team has been crucial for the girls this season. Leadership and learning opportunities are some of the most important components the team focuses on throughout the year.

“Against UCLA, we talked about having to be your best against a top-25 program,” said head coach Jeana Kempe. “Vanderbilt took all of that for us. We had to be good in every single spot, and they needed to be the best they’ve been. We had a lot of people go faster than they did last year at midseason … that’s going to fuel into mid-season at Purdue.”

Kempe also touched on their upcoming matches with the Boilermaker Invite at Purdue, and what to expect with their first Big Ten events.

“For the next ten days, we’re going to get some rest,” Kempe said. “We’re gonna race in the same suits we had on today, and critique those swims.”

 

@tess_eken

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