Sophomore Jessica Holz became the fifth-fastest Illini to ever swim the 200 back.
Jan. 29, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The Fighting Illini swimming and diving team fell to Minnesota (314.5-51.5), Purdue (287-79) and Wisconsin (260-93) in the final day of action at Big Ten Quad Duals on Saturday. With the losses, the Orange and Blue fall to 5-7 on the season.
"I thought we did a very good job of coming back on the second day and being able to get ourselves ready to go," Illini head coach Sue Novitsky said. "I thought we competed well, and it was a great rehearsal for us for the Big Ten Championships. We had some really good swims today. A lot of people continued to step it up and put together all of the little details we've been working on."
Sophomore Jessica Holz led the Illini, placing fourth in the 200 back with a personal-best, team-leading time (2:01.57), making her the fifth-fastest individual to swim the event in school history.
Senior Brittany McGowan swam to a fifth-place finish in the 100 fly with a time of 56.94, while a pair of Illini finished 10th in their respective events, including sophomore Erica Lynn in the 200 breast (2:22.74) and senior Kristen Manias in the 100 free (52.31).
Finishing just out of the top 10 was freshman Alison Meng, who placed 11th in the 100 fly (58.01). Meanwhile, four Illini swimmers finished 12th in their individual events, including Kathleen Knight in the 100 fly (58.13), Erin Rodriguez in the 400 IM (4:31.79), Courtney Pope in the 100 free (52.46) and Alyssa Toland in the 500 free (5:10.58).
The Illini relay teams began the meet on a strong note for the Orange and Blue, placing fourth (1:35.12) and eighth (1:36.86) in the 200 free relay. The teams also finished in fourth (3:27.69) and eighth (3:31.37) in the 400 free relay to finish up the day.
On the boards, the Illini were led by junior Keri Eberhardt, who placed 11th with a personal-best platform dive score of 148.15, which is the sixth-highest platform score in school history.
"Overall, I thought we had a lot of people improve on their times from the last couple of weeks," Novitsky said. "I think we're headed in the right direction. Now it's about keeping them healthy and resting them, and continuing to have that focused practice."
The Illini return to Minneapolis next weekend to compete in the Minnesota Challenge. The competition will take place all day on Friday, Feb. 3 and Saturday, Feb. 4. at the University Aquatic Center.