Sophomore Alison Meng finished fifth in the 100 fly on Friday night.
Feb. 1, 2013
MADISON, Wis. - The Fighting Illini swimming and diving team trails No. 13 Minnesota, Wisconsin and Purdue after opening action on Friday night at the Big Ten Quad Meet. The Gophers lead the Illini, 152-34, while the Badgers lead, 154-32, and the Boilermakers boast a 147-39 advantage going into the second and final day of competition.
"As a whole team, we had many spots that we could have competed better," head coach Sue Novitsky said. "It was good to see some individuals stand up and take advantage of their opportunities to continue to fine tune their race plans. This meet provides us with the chance to compete against some of the best teams in the conference, and we have to use this experience in a challenging environment to keep getting better. Some of them are taking an objective look at their races and figuring out what they need to change, whether it be physical or mental. To become better athletes, they have to take ownership and not look for the easy way."
Senior Kathleen Knight highlighted the day for the Orange and Blue, placing fifth in the 200 fly with a 2:04.11. Meanwhile, sophomore Alison Meng captured a fifth-place finish of her own with a time of 56.57 in the 100 fly.
The Illini finished the first day of action with a fourth-place finish in the 800 free relay. The team of junior Courtney Pope, sophomores Megan Marchuk and Mary Beth Howard and senior Erin Lamb clocked a 7:33.22 to end the night on a high note.
"Pope, Marchuk, Lamb and Howard put together a really solid 800 free relay at the end of the night," Novitsky said. "Kathleen Knight continues to be consistent in the 200 fly. We are continuing to look for those breakthrough races or dives in a competition because once that happens, it becomes a lot of fun. We have to go back to work tomorrow and know that it is going to hurt, accept it and breakthrough to the other side."
The Orange and Blue will return to the pool tomorrow at 9 a.m. CT.