Illini Stumble at Iowa, 195.5-102.5
Jan. 14, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Fighting Illini swimming and diving team fell to Iowa, 195.5-102.5, Saturday morning at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center in Iowa City. Sophomore Jessica Holz earned the only win of the day for the Orange and Blue, placing first in the 200 back and replacing her old time as the seventh-fastest Illini to swim the event in school history with a time of 2:01.91. Holz also finished third in the 100 back (58.05).
"The biggest problems of today were that we did not execute our races very well and we were not very clean," head coach Sue Novitsky said. "During the races, I saw a lot of panicking, which will kill any action of the mind. That's something that we need to keep going back to and working on. We need to stay focused and stay calm. We see good things during workouts, and we need to be able to carry that level of performance over to when there is another team in the pool as well."
A pair of Illini earned two second-place finishes apiece. Senior Kristen Manias took second in the 50 free (23.94) and 100 free (51.91), recording season-best times in both events, while sophomore Erica Lynn captured second in both the 100 breast (1:05.74) and 200 breast (2:22.15). Seniors Brittany McGowan and April McKee also captured second-place finishes in the 100 fly (57.05) and 200 IM(2:09.39), respectively, while freshman Alexa Chavez finished second in the 200 back with a personal-best 2:06.58.
Freshman Alison Meng also turned in a solid performance, finishing second in the 100 back with a personal-best time of 56.70, giving her sole possession of fifth-place on the all-time fastest individuals list. Meng also placed third in the 100 fly (57.64).
An additional pair of Illini finished the day with second- and fourth-place finishes in their respective events. Junior Erin Lamb finished second in the 200 free (1:52.92) and tied for fourth in the 100 free (52.72), while classmate Kathleen Knight took second in the 200 fly (2:06.40) and fourth in the 100 fly (57.99).
Two other Illini had a pair of top-five finishes. Senior Rachel Japp Joyce earned third in the 200 breast (2:25.53) and fourth in the 100 breast (1:07.20), while junior Sarah Coady recorded a personal best (1:07.82) in the 100 breast forfifth place and captured third in the 200 IM (2:11.73).
Also contributing points were freshmen Kayla Dlugopolski in the 500 free (5:11.41) and 1000 free (10:32.17), Hailey Booth in the 500 free (5:11.09) and Mary Beth Howard in the 200 back (2:08.38). Sophomore Courtney Pope added points in the 100 free (52.72) and 200 free (1:54.08), while classmate Marin Thompsoncontributed in the 200 breast (2:27.54). Junior Erin Lamb earned points in the 200 fly (2:07.99) and 200 IM (2:12.45), and classmate Kim Kalenda added points in the 50 free (24.38). Seniors Kelly Kunkel and Torrey Loper contributed in the 200 free (1:55.40) and 1000 free (10:35.59), respectively.
"Jessica Holz and Alexa Chavez probably had the most complete races," Novitsky said. "Their execution was calm and focused. Kristen Manias was definitely in a close battle in each of her races. Kristen does not back down from the pressure and as a team leader, it is good for her younger teammates to see how she handles herself. If she keeps practicing as well as she has been, she can keep taking those steps to putting together a complete race. Alison Meng just loves to compete against anyone. As she becomes more polished she is going to keep having some breakthroughs."
The Illini relay teams finished third (1:45.90) and fifth (1:50.54) in the 200 medley relay and ended on a high note with second- (3:28.27) and third- (3:31.63) place finishes in the 400 free relay.
Junior Tessa Adams led the Illini on the boards, placing fourth in both the one- and three-meter dives with scores of 269.26 and 266.25, respectively.
The Illini will return to action on Monday, Jan. 16 against Southern Illinois at 1 p.m. CT in Carbondale, Ill.