Senior Kellie Stevens won the 200 Free Friday night.
Nov. 2, 2007
Columbia, Mo. - The Illinois swimming and diving team beat Missouri State, but fell to No. 20 Virginia Tech in a double dual meet Friday night. The first session of the Missouri Dual Meet Challenge saw two Illini take individual event titles. Senior Kellie Stevens won the 200 free with a time of 1:52.94, while junior Marissa Clapp took the 200 IM title in 2:04.23.
"The team came stepped up and raced like we knew they could," head coach Sue Novitsky said. "We stayed strong and competed with a top 20 team the entire meet, with a few races decided by a couple tenths of a second."
The relays had a strong showing for the Illini with the 400 medley capturing third and fourth place, staying right with Virginia Tech and beating Missouri State.
"They showed a lot of improvement tonight displaying the strong fundamentals we have worked on in practice," Novitsky declared. "Tonight will help our relays develop confidence for the rest of the season."
Sophomore Kyla Bachtell provided a bright spot for the Illini divers finishing fourth out of 21 divers on the 1-meter board. She put together a solid 12 rounds of diving over four hours.
"Kyla has been working extremely hard on her dives and it is good to see her effort pay off," Novitsky explained. "She has the talent to do some remarkable things in her career. Hopefully, tonight will be a stepping stone for her."
With a 9 a.m. start tomorrow, the Illini will have to work on short rest. The Illini are more than up to the challenge.
"We have practiced under similar conditions, so the team knows their bodies can handle it," Novitsky said. "I think the team is up to the mental challenge this presents and know this will help for the championship meets at the end of the season. We showed a lot of focus tonight. If we can continue that we will be prepared to go tomorrow."
The Orange and Blue will face off against Drury, the defending NCAA Division II national champions, in the morning session and will take on No. 20 Missouri at 5 p.m. in the evening session.