Marissa Clapp took fourth place in the 400 IM consolation final.
Feb. 22, 2008
COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Fighting Illini swimming and diving team continued to put together strong performances on the second day of the 2008 Big Ten Championships held at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. Minnesota leads with 420.5 pts, while the Illini sit in eleventh place.
Illini swimmers started off Friday's competition with 16 straight season best times. In the opening session, 91% of the team set season best times with 43% of those swims career best efforts.
"We continued our momentum from yesterday," head coach Sue Novitsky said. "The team is focused and the intensive training we do throughout the season is paying off at the right time."
Juniors Marissa Clapp and Ali Keehn along with sophomore Cece Marizu and freshman Ann Miller earned finals swims for the Illini on the second day of competition. Clapp and Miller participated in the 400 IM, while Keehn participated in the 100 Fly and Marizu took part in the 100 Back.
Clapp was the top finisher for the Orange and Blue taking fourth place in the consolation final. Her preliminary time of 4:20.14 improved her career best time by three seconds. The Danville, Ill., native also increased her time on Illinois' all-time best times list, now just four tenths of a second behind second place.
"I was focused and relaxed during the first 200 and really caught the water with my breastroke," Clapp said. "I had never placed in the 400 IM, so I was excited to accomplish another goal."
Marizu moved into third place on the schools all-time best times list with her preliminary swim time of 56.60. She finished the event with a seventh place finish in the bonus final.
"I swam without thinking today," Marizu said. "Coach always says to relax and work on the details, so I did and my 100 Back felt perfect."
Illini relays performed extremely well during in the evening session. The 200 Medley relay posted a time of 1:45.92, three seconds faster than their previous season best. Not to be outdone, the 800 Free relay posted a time of 7:26.51, the eighth fastest time in school history.
"They (800 Free relay) swam a great race," Novitsky said. "I was proud of how they kept their cool, didn't overexert themselves in the first fifty meters and were able to put together four solid relay legs."
"I was a little nervous going in because it was a close race," sophomore anchor Amy Forsberg said. "I was able to control the first fifty and knew they weren't going to be able to beat me."
Big Ten Championship action wraps up Saturday with preliminaries starting at 10 a.m. and finals to follow at 5:30 p.m. Fans can keep track of the Illini throughout the day with Livestats at the following link 2008 Big Ten Womens Swimming and Diving Championships Livestats FightingIllini.com will provide a full recap at the conclusion of the meets events.