Nov. 17, 2006
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Illinois sophomore Marissa Clapp paced Friday's Reveille Invitational prelims for the Orange and Blue, but the team could not keep up at night and finished in fifth place on day one of three.
Clapp recorded an NCAA "B"-cut time in the 200 IM and found her way into the school annals again, as her time of 2:04.06 qualified for fourth-best all-time. Including the second-year swimmer's efforts, 26 swims (85 percent) established season-best times and six marks counted as personal-best times.
Hours later, in the evening's final sessions, the Illini could not regain its earlier form.
"In the final sessions we were just really flat," head coach Sue Novitsky said. "We were not very good on a lot of our details. We were not very good on the turns. We kept getting killed on the walls, losing a lot of speed on the walls. It was little things that just kept adding up for us."
One bright spot during the finals was the Orange and Blue's 400 medley relay that swam a season-best 3:52.20 to finish ninth, but ultimately two swims in one day proved to be quite the challenge for a team that is used to competing twice in as many days.
"That was one of the big things that I wanted to see, how this team would handle being able to go into our first prelim final meet, being able to keep it together and perform with the energy, excitement and intensity that you need to carry from session to session. That's something that's very hard to do," Novitsky said.
Now that the initial two-a-day round is completed, Illinois has two more opportunities to maintain its performance level on Saturday and Sunday.
1. Texas A&M 361 2. Michigan 282 3. Southern Methodist 177 4. Louisiana State 105 5. Illinois 90 6. Pacific 66
Illinois top finishes:
200 IM Marissa Clapp recorded NCAA "B"-cut time 2:04.06 *fourth-best in UI all-time history
500 free "C" final 20. Amy Forsberg 5:06.14
200 IM 6. Marissa Clapp 2:04.59 Katie Thiessen finished 16th in consolation final 2:07.57