Illini Wrap Up Day Three of Big Ten Championships
Feb. 22, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS - The Fighting Illini swimming and diving team remained in 12th place (57 points) at the Big Ten Championships after Friday's action. The Illini set two school records and swam 12 lifetime bests on day three of the four-day competition.
"It was great to see two school records fall tonight," head coach Sue Novitsky said. "Alison Meng had a really tough day with four races and she stepped up and swam very strong for the team. It was great to see her breakout and score in her first individual event of her career at Big Tens."
After 14 events, Minnesota leads the standings with 526 points, followed by Indiana (397), Penn State (314), Michigan (272), Ohio State (261), Purdue (253), Wisconsin (230), Iowa (142), Nebraska (110), Michigan State (70), Northwestern (68), and Illinois (57).
Junior Alison Meng became the first Illini to earn points in an individual event of the 2014 Big Ten Championships with her 10th place finish in the 100 back (53.94). It was the first points Meng has earned individually at the Big Ten Championships in her collegiate career. The Lodi, Wis., native's performance in the 100 back broke the school record and was a NCAA B qualifying time.
Senior Erica Lynn earned a second swim opportunity in the 100 breaststroke after a swim off performance placed her in the finals. Lynn swam the third (1:02.71) and fifth (1:03.95) fastest performances in Illini history.
In the 200 free, freshmen Gabbie Stecker and Amelia Schilling both earned second swims. Schilling qualified for her first finals event in the Big Ten Championships, while Stecker earned a second swim opportunity for the second straight day. Schilling swam the sixth fastest time (1:49.18) in Illini history and Stecker swam the eighth fastest time (1:49.27) in school history.
In the 100 butterfly prelims, Meng swam the third fastest time (54.69) in Illini history, also placing herself second on the all-time fastest individuals list.
Other additions to the all-time fastest individuals list included Hollie Smith, who moved to sixth all-time (1:03.97) in the 100 breast, and Cara Chuang who moved to fourth all-time (55.99) in the 100 back.
On the boards, Olivia Kassouni was the top finisher for the Illini in the three meter dive with a score of 247.05.
"We started a little slow this morning, but continued to gain momentum throughout the prelim session," Novitsky said. "We have one more day, so we need to continue to get ourselves ready to go and lay it on the line in the morning."
Four Illini qualified for finals events on Friday. The Orange and Blue will return to action at 11 a.m. CT Saturday morning for the final day of the Big Ten Championships.