Illini Wrap Up Minnesota Challenge with Two Wins Saturday
Feb. 9, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS - The Fighting Illini swimming and diving team earned 16 top-five finishes Saturday to close out the Minnesota Challenge. The Orange and Blue swept the top three spots in the 200 back, led by sophomore Callan McDermott, who posted a lifetime best to win the race, while her sister, senior Darragh McDermott, won the one-meter dive.
"We finished up the competition very strong and fought all the way to the end," head coach Sue Novitsky said. "There were some breakthroughs at this meet, and that is what we have been looking for the past couple of weeks. It is fantastic to see the girls execute their race plans just like we had set them up and practiced. I loved the energy and persistence that the team showed each event, especially when most of them had minimal rest between events."
Callan McDermott clocked a personal-best 2:04.54 in the 200 back, edging fellow sophomores Alexa Chavez, who finished second with a lifetime-best 2:04.83, and Katie Roeing, who took third with a career-fastest 2:07.71. Callan McDermott also swam to a fourth-place finish in the 100 back with a time of 59.15 to narrowly edge fifth-place finisher Chavez (59.21) once again.
Meanwhile, Darragh McDermott led the Illini in a sweep of the top four spots off the one-meter board, posting a 260.85 to win the event. Sophomore Erika Murphy placed second with a 259.55, followed by senior Keri Eberhardt in third with a 250.35 and sophomore Emily Fung in fourth with a 232.90.
Junior Emma Williams rounded out the individual top-five finishers for the Illini, capturing fourth in the 200 fly with a time of 2:07.83.
The Illinois relay team of Thompson, Goering, Williams and Zborek placed second in the 400 free relay (3:39.31), while junior Cara Chuang, DeAngelis, Williams and Goering finished fifth in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:49.26.
The Illini will return to Minneapolis to compete in the Big Ten Championships, Feb. 20-23.