Shegos prepares for Big Ten Championships and Zones competition

Taylor+Shegos+dives+in+a+meet+against+Indiana+State+at+the+ARC+on+Friday.+Shegos+broke+Illinois%E2%80%99+record+on+the+one-meter+dive+with+a+score+of+299.47.+
Back to Article
Back to Article

Shegos prepares for Big Ten Championships and Zones competition

Taylor Shegos dives in a meet against Indiana State at the ARC on Friday. Shegos broke Illinois’ record on the one-meter dive with a score of 299.47.

Taylor Shegos dives in a meet against Indiana State at the ARC on Friday. Shegos broke Illinois’ record on the one-meter dive with a score of 299.47.

Photo Courtesy of Illini Athletics

Taylor Shegos dives in a meet against Indiana State at the ARC on Friday. Shegos broke Illinois’ record on the one-meter dive with a score of 299.47.

Photo Courtesy of Illini Athletics

Photo Courtesy of Illini Athletics

Taylor Shegos dives in a meet against Indiana State at the ARC on Friday. Shegos broke Illinois’ record on the one-meter dive with a score of 299.47.

By Angelle Cortes, Staff Writer

The Illinois swim and dive team started off the season with a 192-107 win against Indiana State Friday. The following day, the team competed against Big Ten opponent Northwestern and the University of Illinois Chicago in a tri-dual meet. The team swept University of Illinois at Chicago 207-92 but fell to Northwestern 192-107.

Sophomore Taylor Shegos broke a school record this past weekend against Indiana State with a score of 299.47 on the one-meter dive.

“It feels really awesome,” Shegos said. “I’m now a collegiate record holder, so I think that’s really cool.”

In addition, Shegos also placed first in the three-meter against Indiana State University. But at the tri-dual meet, she placed first in one-meter and fourth in the three-meter.

With the rest of the season ahead of her, Shegos wants to keep improving every meet and hopefully break her own record. While earning high marks is always a priority for her, being confident and staying consistent are Shegos’ goals for this season as well.

In the pool, her goal is to qualify for the NCAA Championships and have a good showing at the Big Ten Championships and Zones.

Following her performance Friday, Shegos qualified for Zones, a meet following Big Tens. Her scores in the one- and three-meter dives secured herself a spot.

“It’s a bigger meet than Big Ten,” Shegos said. “It’s basically the qualifying meet for NCAA.”

According to Shegos, bigger dives on the one-meter and three-meter have been in the works and will come later in the season. And Shegos and her diving coaches are planning to compete in platform diving as well.

Shegos did platform diving years ago and hopes to be like alumni and 2019 NCAA qualifier Ling Kuhn someday.

Before deciding to dive collegiately, Shegos was set on playing soccer instead. She had been playing for 13 years; however, a pool with a diving board in her backyard was calling her name.

Shegos begged her mom to let her start diving, but with the sport being uncommon and no actual diving coaches around, it was hard to begin.

It wasn’t until her older sisters were in high school that she got a chance. One of their teachers was the swim and dive coach and allowed Shegos to dive with the high school boy’s team while she was in middle school.

“I loved it,” Shegos said. “The coaches said I was a natural.”

After, she found a club team based out of Eastern Michigan University called Legacy Diving. While at Legacy Diving, she was also part of the Michigan National Team from her freshman to her senior year of high school.

Shegos practiced every day with Legacy for three and a half hours, driving an hour there and back for practice.

“I wouldn’t get home until 10 p.m. every night, and it became a schedule for me,” Shegos said.

After long nights of diving and driving, the hard work paid off and prepared her to be a student-athlete at Illinois.

As a sophomore, Shegos is an interdisciplinary health major with aspirations to be a physician assistant in dermatology.

When she’s not in the pool, you’ll catch her either sleeping, studying for chemistry or getting Chipotle with her roommates on Sunday nights.

@AngelleCortes

[email protected]