Michelle Mehnert captured the only first-place finish on the weekend and was one of several Illini to pick up personal and season bests.
Feb. 5, 2011
MINNEAPOLIS - The Fighting Illini swimmers and divers collected six top-five finishes, including a first-place finish in the 1650 free by junior Michelle Mehnert, as they concluded action at the Minnesota Challenge Saturday night.
"I thought we competed very well today as a team," head coach Sue Novitsky said. "Both the swimmers and the divers stayed focused and competed hard. It was great to see Sara (Stoneburg) and Lauren (Frendreis) finish their careers with some strong swims. The steps that the athletes took will be beneficial in furthering their athletic careers. It always helps me to keep learning about my athletes in order to help them keep working toward their goals. I am also very happy for Michelle (Mehnert) to come home with a victory in the mile after putting in the many miles in the pool and all of her work in the weight room."
Mehnert led the Orange and Blue with a first-place finish in the 1650 free with a personal-best time of 17:40.94 and captured a fourth-place finish in the 400 IM with a personal-best time of 4:37.64. The Champaign native also posted a lifetime best in the 200 free (1:56.70) and a season best in the 100 free (55.94). Freshman Emma Williams tallied two top-five finishes on the night, placing fourth with a personal-best time of 58.76 in the 100 fly and fifth in the 200 fly (2:13.76) and added a lifetime best in the 100 back (1:03.54).
Several Illini posted personal and season bests on the night, including freshman Alyssa Toland with personal-best times in the 200 free (1:54.68), 100 free (53.86) and 100 back (1:00.98), senior Lauren Frendreis with season-best times in the 200 free (2:01.13) and 100 free (54.64) and classmate Sara Stoneburg with season bests in the 200 free (1:56.11) and 100 free (53.44).
In the 400 free relay, the team of Toland, Williams, Frendreis and Stoneburg finished fifth with a time of 3:38.95, while the 200 medley relay team of Toland, Mehnert, Williams and Frendreis finished ninth.
On the boards, sophomore Tessa Adams led the Illini with a third-place finish in the one-meter dive (260.45) and a ninth-place finish in the three-meter dive (231.60), while fellow sophomore Keri Eberhardt placed eighth in the three-meter (232.70) and classmate Darragh McDermott placed 10th in the one-meter (233.75) .
The Orange and Blue will return to action at the Big Ten Championships, Feb. 16-19 in Bloomington, Ind.