Illini Claim Copa Coqui Invitational Victory
Jan. 7, 2014
Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico- The Illinois swimming and diving team capped off their visit to Puerto Rico finishing first in the 10ma Copa Coqui Invitational on Sunday, Jan. 5 at the Encantada Sports Center in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico.
The Orange and Blue edged out in-state rival Illinois State, scoring 58 points on their way to claiming the top spot in the 16 team invitational. Illinois State took second while Cleveland State finished third.
"Overall the team competed very well," said head coach Sue Novitsky. "We are training very hard right now and the girls are very tired and sore. We keep talking about choosing your mindset and being able to step up even if you don't feel great and still swim fast. They competed strong from the start of the meet to the end."
Teams from across the country competed in the invitational including Clark University, Cleveland State University, University of Connecticut, East Stroudsburg University, Fordham University, Illinois State, Loyola University, Puerto Rico, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, St. Cloud State University, the University of South Dakota, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Wellesley College.
In a deep field, the Illini claimed three event titles highlighted by two relay victories. In the 200 Meter Medley Relay, Alison Meng, Erica Lynn, Lori Lynn and Courtney Pope claimed the event victory with a time of 2:04.48.
The Illini also took fist in the 10 x 50 Meter Freestyle relay. By wining the event, the entire team won provolones, a type of Puerto Rican cookie. Megan Marchuk, Gabbie Stecker, Courtney Pope, Kristen Zborek, Alison Meng, Rachel Burke, Mary Beth Howard, Anne Goering, Sabrine Gibson and Cara Chuang secured the victory and the tasty treats with a time of 4:38.47.
Lori Lynn continued her success claiming first in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:07.32.
Second pace finishers for the Illini included Gabbie Stecker in the 100 Meter fly (1:07.82), Erica Lynn in the 100 Meter breast (1:17.18), Alison Meng in the 100 Meter back (1:08.03) and Rachel Burke in the 200 Meter IM (2:30.82).
UP NEXT: The Illini will return home for the first time in two months looking to continue their home success this season as they host Rutgers on Friday, Jan. 10 at 10:00 a.m. CT. The Illini have claimed 25 of 28 swimming events at home this season.
"We have a couple more days of training as we continue to prepare for a very tough January stretch leading into our championship meets," Novitsky said.