Senior Marissa Clapp shattered her second school record of the Big Ten Championships Friday in the 400 IM.
Feb. 20, 2009
Ann Arbor, Mich. - The Fighting Illini swimming and diving team finished day three of the Big Ten Championships Friday evening. The Orange and Blue had another strong day breaking another school record, achieving a NCAA "B" cut time, making 12 changes to the all-time top individuals list and five changes to the all-time fastest performances list. Heading into the finals Friday evening 72% of the team had achieved lifetime-best times and 88% of the team had achieved season-best times.
"For the preliminaries we came in and had a great start with the 400 IM and set a school record," head coach Sue Novitsky said. "We earned three final swims and then we were a little up and down from then on. We were a little off on details and could have swam faster in a few spots but we stayed strong. Tonight we came back and swam tough. We equaled or bettered each performance."
Friday - Preliminaries:
Friday morning preliminaries were held for the 400 IM, 200 free, 100 breast and 100 back. In the 400 IM prelims senior Marissa Clapp shattered the school record with a time of 4:13.85, a NCAA "B" cut qualifying time. Clapp beat her previous lifetime-best by almost seven seconds earning her a sixth-place finish and a final swim.
"Marissa dropped almost seven seconds off her time," Novitsky said. "She put together a tough race and was willing to risk everything to get that time."
Also in the 400 IM prelims, junior Ann Miller had a strong performance to become the 10th all-time fastest individual with a time of 4:47.01, a lifetime-best time. Junior Kelly Smithwick also swam to a lifetime-best time (4:28.68). Both Smithwick and Miller's performances earned them final swims.
In the 100 fly prelims senior Ali Keehn earned the No. 8 spot on the all-time fastest individuals list with her 50 split time of 26.25. Keehn's 50 fly split also landed her the 10th all-time fastest performance.
Jen Ivarson became the seventh all-time top individual with a time of 56.30, a lifetime-best time for the junior.
Freshman Brittany McGowan became the 10th fastest all-time individual in the 100 fly with a time of 56.95. Her 50 fly split of 25.96 also made her the fourth-fastest all-time individual and was the fifth-fastest all-time 50 fly performance.
In the 200 free prelims five Illini finished with lifetime-best times and two Illini finished with season-best times.
In the 100 breast junior Amy Johnson swam a fast time of 29.88 in her 50 split, making her the third all-time fastest individual in the 50 breast. Her swim also became the 10th all-time fastest 50 breast performance.
Freshman Rachel Japp achieved a lifetime-best time and became the sixth all-time fastest individual with her 50 breast split time of 30.31.
To round out the 100 breast performances freshman Corey Kasten swam a time of 1:05:17 to become the 10th all-time fastest individual in the 100 breast and set a new lifetime-best time.
In the final prelims of the morning, junior CeCe Marizu had an outstanding performance in the 100 back that made her the second all-time fastest individual (55.58) and earned her a final swim.
Freshman Laura Adrian finished close behind Marizu with a time of 56.67, which earned her the fourth spot on the all-time fastest individuals list in the 100 back. It was also a lifetime-best for Adrian.
Immediately behind Adrian, senior Katie Theissen finished for the Illini with a time of 57.05. Theissen's performance made her the sixth-fastest all-time individual in the 100 back. Juniors Anna Johnson and Gilman also finished for the Orange and Blue with lifetime-best times of 57.86 and 1:00.26, respectively.
Friday - Finals:
Prior to the swimming competition Friday evening, junior Kristen Kloeckener was honored with the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for the Illini.
To kick-off the swimming finals Friday evening, the 400 medley relay team that consisted of Marizu, Kasten, Ivarson and Mason swam to a time of 3:45.65. Their performance was the third-fastest in school history and Marizu's leg of the relay was the third-fastest performance in school history.
In her final swim of the 400 IM, Clapp finished with a time of 4:14.18. Clapp's time earned her the No. 2 spot on the list of all-time fastest performances; she also holds the No. 1 spot with today's 400 IM prelim time of 4:13.85.
"I could not ask for more from both of my races today," Clapp said. "It is very surreal and I can't really grasp it. I wasn't very aware of the records heading into the race but I'm very happy with how things turned out."
"She laid everything out on the table and to come back and swim almost the same race in the finals was outstanding," Novitsky said.
Additionally in the 400 IM, Miller finished with a time of 4:28.15, while Smithwick finished with a time of 4:30.86.
In the 200 free finals Kloeckener had an outstanding swim, finishing with a time of 1:49.01. Her race made her fourth on the all-time top individuals list and it was the ninth-fastest performance in the 200 free in school history.
To finish off the night Marizu beat out the competition, finishing first in her heat with a time of 55.60. She topped her prelim score by .8 seconds which made her No. 7 on the all-time fastest performances list.
The Fighting Illini return to the pool Saturday, Feb. 21 to participate in the final day of the Big Ten Championships. The preliminaries kick off at 11 a.m. for the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly and 1650 free. A full recap of the day's results will be available on fightingillini.com at the conclusion of competition.