Illini Finish Sixth at Big Ten Swimming and Diving
Minneapolis, Minn.-The University of Illinois women's swimming and diving team placed sixth overall at the 1999 Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships at the University of Minnesota. Minnesota won the team championship followed by the University of Michigan and Northwestern University.
"I couldn't be happier with the way this meet went," Illinois Head Coach Jim Lutz said. "This is beyond my wildest dreams. We just stood up and swam out of our minds. This was by far the best meet I have ever had the opportunity to coach. I just couldn't be more proud of this team. They came in and did everything we asked them to do."
Individually for Illinois, junior Natasha Messmer continued her hot streak. A day after dropping two seconds in the 100 fly and placing 10th overall in that event the Minnesota native was fourth overall in the 200 fly in a school record time of 2:02.00. It was Messmer's first career school record and the first time she has qualified for a Big Ten Championships final. Senior Nicola Homenock finished sixth in the same final in a time of 2:02.29. Both swimmers were under Homenock's previous school record time of 2:02.96.
Illinois' milers also stepped up big in helping the team secure the most points in school history. Freshman Jen Peters placed fourth overall in a school record time of 16:46.06. Peters broke the former school record of 16:51.98 that was set by Susie Hamann in 1982, the oldest standing record in the Illinois record books. Peters was followed closely by teammates Kelly Handel, who was fifth in 16:52.33 and Jessica Aveyard, who finished seventh in 16:57.48.
Illinois' other finalist on the third and final day of competition was sophomore Anna Christiansen, who was fourth in the 200 breaststroke in a time of 2:18.54. Sophomore Darcy Adler, who was third in the 100 breast yesterday, won the consolation championship of the 200 breast in a time of 2:17.54.
In the 100 free consolation finals, Emily Wang finished 12th in 50.73 and Traci Bollinger was 14th in 51.15. In the 200 back consolation finals Jessica Aveyard finished 14 in a time of 2:03.73 just an hour after her mile swim.
Final Team Scores
1650 Timed Finals
200 Back Consolation Finals
100 Free Consolation Finals
200 Breast Finals
200 Breast Consolation Finals
200 Fly Finals
400 Free Relay
200 Back Prelims
100 Free Prelims
200 Breast Prelims
200 Fly Prelims