Junior Torrey Loper captured the only individual first-place finish for the Illini with her personal-best performance in the 1650 free.
Dec. 5, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa - In the final day of the three-day Hawkeye Invitational, the Fighting Illini swimming and diving team passed Iowa with two events remaining to capture a second-place finish with 880 points. Denver, which never trailed throughout the meet, claimed first place with a score of 1,052.50, while Iowa took third with 853 points.
"Overall, the night was really good," head coach Sue Novitsky said. "We took care of business in the prelims, and we had the most opportunities for second swims in the night session, which put us in a position to make a run. We kept getting stronger as the night went on and took the lead after the 200 butterfly. It came down to the last relay, as it has the last couple meets against Iowa. It was very exciting to see the girls stay focused and calm and go about their business, while being competitive, staying in the moment and having fun. This was a big step for us as a team."
The Orange and Blue got off to a solid start once again, as junior Torrey Loper captured the only individual event title on the weekend for the Illini with a personal-best time of 16:57.85 in the 1650 free. She also scored points for the Illini in the 200 back after posting a lifetime-best time (2:05.78) during prelims.
Senior Ann Miller continued her successful weekend as well, as she captured a third-place finish in the 200 fly with the sixth-fastest performance in school history (2:02.75) and moved into fourth place on the all-time fastest individuals list. She now ranks as one of the 10 fastest individuals in three events at Illinois.
Redshirt freshman Erica Lynn also turned in a solid performance, finishing third in the 200 breast (2:18.57) after securing a personal-best time of 2:17.80 to become the sixth-fastest individual in Illini history in that event.
Junior Brittany McGowan and sophomore Erin Lamb each captured fourth-place finishes with personal-best times, with McGowan in the 200 fly (2:04.36) and Lamb in the 100 free (51.61), while junior Kristen Manias captured a fifth-place finish in the 100 free (51.84).
The Illini added to their point total with two sixth-place finishes from freshman Courtney Pope in the 1650 free (17:12.44) and 100 free (51.87) and a seventh-place finish from fellow freshman Jessica Holz in the 200 back (2:04.30).
Other top-10 finishers for the Orange and Blue included senior Meghan Mason, who finished seventh in the 100 free (52.03), sophomore Kathleen Knight, who finished ninth in the 200 fly with a personal-best time of 2:06.77 and freshman Marin Thompson, who finished 10th in the 200 fly (2:07.22).
Also contributing points were sophomore Sarah Coady in the 200 back and 200 breast, freshman Anne Goering and sophomore Kimberly Kalenda in the 100 free, senior Corey Kasten and juniors April McKee and Rachel Japp Joyce in the 200 breast and freshman Emily Wilkinson and Emma Williams in the 200 fly.
The Illini ended the night on a high note with a second-place finish in the 400 free relay, as the team of Lamb, Manias, junior Caitlin Conroy and Pope captured the fifth-fastest time (3:24.32) in Illini history in that event.
On the boards, sophomore Lauren Wismer led the Illini, securing third place with the highest-scoring platform dive in Illini history (195.85), while junior Britni Fisher captured fourth place with a score of 162.80.
The Illini will close out the dual season next month when they host Iowa on Jan. 15 at 11 a.m. at the ARC.