Illini take on Toyota U.S. Open, Rutgers Diving Invitational


Photo Courtesy of Illini Athletics

Freshman Erin Young dives at the Rutgers Invitational at the Rutgers Aquatic Center over the weekend.

By Angelle Cortes, Staff Writer

The Illinois swim and dive team sent three Illini swimmers to the Toyota U.S. Open Championships in Atlanta and three divers to the Rutgers Diving Invitational from Thursday-Saturday.

Illinois redshirt senior Aby Olson, alongside seniors Kristin Anderson and Jamie Kolar, competed at the Georgia Tech McAuley Aquatic Center.

Their qualifying times determined where they were placed in the overall competition.

Both Anderson and Kolar earned their places in this meet over the summer. Olsen earned her 100-meter backstroke qualifying time at the team’s mid-semester meet.

“In America, you do all course meters in the summer,” Anderson said.

It was Anderson’s first meet ever competing against Olympians like Simone Manuel.

“For swimmers, it was kind of like seeing a celebrity,” Anderson said. “(It’s like seeing) someone you look up to.”

The closest encounter she had to a celebrity was accidentally doing a flip turn on former olympian Ryan Lochte.

Sophomores Taylor Shegos and Madelyn Crosby competed in Piscataway, New Jersey, with freshman Erin Young at the Rutgers Diving Invitational. Both meets started on Wednesday, but the Illini didn’t compete until Thursday.

Toyota U.S. Open Championships

At the Olympic time trial, all three Illini competed in the 50-meter, 100-meter freestyle and 100-meter backstroke.

On Thursday, Anderson and Kolar swam in the preliminaries for the 50-meter freestyle. Anderson finished in 107th place, tied with a member of the Cincinnati Marlins club team with a time of 26.93 seconds.

On Friday, both Olsen and Kolar competed in the 100-meter backstroke. In the preliminaries, Kolar took 84th place with a time of 1:04.54 while Olsen finished with a time of 1:07.98, ending up in 139th place.

On the last day of preliminaries on Saturday, swimmers competed in two events including the 100-meter freestyle and backstroke.

Anderson competed in the 100-meter freestyle and finished tied for 141st place with a time of 59.07 seconds. Kolar swam in the 200-meter backstroke and finished with a time of 2:20.01, earning 71st place.

Rutgers Diving Invitational

On the first day, all three Illini divers competed in the one-meter diving preliminary and finals.

In the preliminaries, Shegos swept the competition, landing first place and earning a personal best score of 301.35. Fellow sophomore Crosby scored a total of 224.80, placing ninth. Young followed, placing 13th with a score of 209.60.

During finals, Shegos placed third in the “A” final with a score of 251.20, while Crosby and Young placed ninth and 13th in the “B” final with total scores of 247.35 and 206.70, respectively.

The second day of competition included the three-meter dive. Shegos secured another first place in the preliminaries with a total score of 269.55. Crosby and Young followed in ninth and 10th, earning total scores of 216.95 and 213.05, respectively.

Young was the lone Illini competing in the platform dive on the last day of competition. Out of seven divers, Young placed fifth with a score of 171.60.

Illinois will return to competition in Jan. 11 in Iowa City, Iowa, against Notre Dame and Big Ten opponent Iowa.