Sophomore Erica Lynn won both the 100 breast and the 200 breast against Nebraska on Saturday.
Jan. 21, 2012
LINCOLN, Neb. - The Fighting Illini swimming and diving team improved to 5-4 on the season in a narrow win over Nebraska, 152-148, Saturday at the Devaney Natatorium. The team won eight out of 16 events, including seven individual events and one relay.
"We came out with a lot of energy in the first part of the meet, and I thought we did a really good job through the first eight events," head coach Sue Novitsky said. "We had a little lapse in the middle part of the meet, and we let Nebraska back in. The last three events could have gone either way, but we were able to regroup as a team and pull out a win."
Sophomore Erica Lynn led the Illini, winning both the 100 breast (1:06.76) and 200 breast (2:23.42), while classmate Jessica Holz continued her winning streak, placing first in the 200 back (2:03.58) for the third consecutive meet and finishing second in the 100 back (58.30).
Freshman Alison Meng also turned in a solid performance, winning the 100 back with a personal-best time of 55.92, making her the third-fastest individual to swim the event in school history. Meng also placed second in the 200 back (2:04.80).
An additional trio of Illini won their respective events, including junior Kathleen Knight in the 200 fly (2:06.11), classmate Erin Rodriguez in the 400 IM (4:32.85) and senior Kristen Manias in the 50 free (23.82). Rodriguez also placed second in the 200 fly (2:08.41), while Manias captured second in the 100 free (51.96).
Senior Brittany McGowan swam to a second-place finish in the 100 fly (57.69), while junior Sarah Coady earned third place in both the 200 breast (2:25.66) and 400 IM (4:38.78). Three other Illini also placed third in their individual events, including senior Rachel Japp Joyce in the 100 breast (1:07.20), junior Kim Kalenda in the 50 free (24.52) and freshman Mary Beth Howard in the 200 back (2:07.32).
"The good swims were pretty evenly distributed all the way through," Novitsky said. "Alison Meng had a great day, and Kristen Manias had some great swims for us as well. Britni Fisher had a great day on the boards, which really helped us out in the end. A lot of people stepped up today and won. It was definitely a team effort, which is what we needed."
The Illini relay teams started out the meet strong, finishing first (1:45.70) and third (1:47.62) in the 200 medley relay. The 400 free relay teams pulled out second- (3:28.60) and third-place (3:30.04) finishes to secure the meet for the Orange and Blue.
Senior Britni Fisher led the Illini on the boards, placing second in her one-meter dive with a new school record score of 298.27 and fourth on the three-meter board (281.02).
The Illini will return to the pool next weekend at the Big Ten Quad Meet in Minneapolis. The meet will take place on Friday, Jan. 27, beginning at 6 p.m. CT and Saturday, Jan. 28 at 12 p.m. CT.