Senior Meghan Mason posted first- and second-place finishes for the Illini on Senior Day.
Jan. 15, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -The Fighting Illini swimming and diving team improved to 7-0 for the first time in 13 years with a 174-126 win over Iowa (3-3) Saturday at the ARC Pool. The Illini captured first place in 10 of 16 events in the final home meet of the season, as they bid farewell to their senior swimmers.
"After a long break from competition, I thought we did a good job of stepping in and competing hard," head coach Sue Novitsky said. "We were a little up and down, but even though some of our times weren't as fast as we wanted them, I think we swam some solid races. It was great to see that even after four years, the seniors are still trying to find that tenth of a second to get faster each and every race. That's what it's all about."
The Illini were led by junior Brittany McGowan, who captured first in both the 100 fly (57.10) and 200 fly with a personal-best time of 2:03.92, and classmate April McKee won two events of her own in the 200 free (1:53.15) and 200 IM (2:07.59).
Senior Meghan Mason had an impressive day as well, finishing first in the 100 free (52.54) and second in the 50 free (24.38), while junior Kristen Manias claimed first in the 50 free (24.36) and second in the 100 free (53.07). Also posting first-place finishes for the Illini were freshman Courtney Pope in the 500 free (5:07.96) and redshirt freshman Erica Lynn in the 200 breast (2:21.40).
A pair of Illini secured top-three finishes in multiple events, including junior Torrey Loper, who captured second place in both the 500 free (5:08.87) and 1000 free (10:25.35), while sophomore Erin Rodriguez claimed second place in the 200 fly (2:06.41) and third in the 200 IM (2:10.32).
Several Illini contributed third-place finishes on the day, including senior Ann Miller (200 fly - 2:07.42), sophomores Alyssa Petruzzello (100 fly - 58.49), Erin Lamb (200 free - 1:54.67) and Kimberly Kalenda (50 free - 24.56) and freshman Jessica Holz (200 back - 2:06.60).
The Illini continued their relay success with first-place finishes in both the 200 medley relay (1:45.78) and 400 free relay (3:30.17).
The Orange and Blue will return to action on Friday, Jan. 28 for the two-day Big Ten Quad Meet in West Lafayette, Ind.