Illini Begin Competition at Big Ten Championships
Feb. 19, 2014
Minneapolis - The Fighting Illini swimming and diving team finished the first day of action at the Big Ten Championships tied with Michigan State for 11th place (24 points) Wednesday night. The Orange and Blue set three school records in addition to posting season-best times in both relay events.
"To get three school records in the first session is a good start to the meet," head coach Sue Novitsky said. "The girls looked strong and are ready to race. We need to stay calm and let the swims happen."
Indiana sits in first place after day one with 74 points, followed by Minnesota (72), Wisconsin (60), Ohio State (58), Penn State (58), Michigan (54), Iowa (44), Nebraska (42), Northwestern (32), Purdue (28), Illinois (24) and Michigan State (24).
The first Illini to compete in the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center, Alison Meng, started the championships off strong breaking the school record in the 50 back (25.02) with her lead off split swim in the 200 medley relay. Meng previously held the school record (25.57), which she set at the Big Ten Champions last season.
The 200 medley relay team of Meng, Isabella Schamber, Lori Lynn and Megan Marchuk clocked a season-best time of 1:41.90 breaking the school record. Meng also swam a leg in the previous school record (1:41.94), which she set in 2012 with Mckee, McGowan and senior Courtney Pope.
In the 800 Freestyle Relay, Pope, Gabbie Stecker, Mary Beth Howard and Marchuk swam an all-time best time of 7:18.82. The school record swim was over two seconds faster than previous record (7:20.87) set last year by Marchuk, Lamb, Howard and Pope.
The Orange and Blue will return to action tomorrow at 11 a.m. CT.