Two Illini Relays Set School Records
Minneapolis, Minn. - The University of Illinois women's swimming and diving team is tied for sixth place with the University of Iowa with 88 points following the first day of competition at the 1999 Big Ten Women's Swimming and Diving Championships.
Day one was highlighted by Illinois' two relays setting school records and the team scoring 30 points in the 500 freestyle. The host University of Minnesota (181.50) is leading the competition, followed by Northwestern (166.50) and Michigan (134).
"We had a great day and I'm very pleased," said Illinois Head Coach Jim Lutz. "On paper we should have been in ninth place after the first day, but we're 20 points ahead of where we thought we'd be because we had people standing up and making considerable drops in their times."
The evening finals session was highlighted by Illinois' two relays. The 200 free relay team of Traci Bollinger, Emily Wang, Colleen Farrell and Molly Busch earned seventh place in a record time of 1:34.16. The old record was 1:34.75 and was set at last year's Big Ten Championships. Bollinger's lead-off split of 23.51 was 4/100ths of a second off the school record and was a personal best.
The 400 medley relay picked up where the 200 free left off, ending the evening session in fifth-place in a record time of 3:46.38. The team of Traci Bollinger, Darcy Adler, Nicola Homenock and Emily Wang erased the old record of 3:48.50, also set at the 1998 Big Ten Championships.
"Our relays did a great job tonight," Lutz added. "When you're breaking school records you can't worry about what place you're taking."
Individually, senior Nicola Homenock was the only Illini to make the finals, placing eighth in the 500 free in a time of 4:55.98. The 500 free was also where Illinois picked up most of its points as four swimmers made it to the consolation finals. Freshman Jen Peters was 10th overall in 4:54.81, Jessica Aveyard was 12th in 4:56.80, Kelly Handel finished 13th in 4:56.99 and Allison Olech finished 14th overall in a time of 4:58.82, a personal best.
In other consolation finals, Traci Bollinger was 13th in a time of 23.64 and Emily Wang 15th in a time of 23.83 in the 50 freestyle.
Action at the 1999 Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships continues through Saturday at the University of Minnesota.