Senior Brittany McGowan will lead the Illini against Iowa and Southern Illinois to open action in January
Jan. 12, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - After a nearly two-month break in its schedule, the Fighting Illini swimming and diving team will travel to Iowa City to take on the Hawkeyes Saturday morning before traveling to Carbondale, Ill., to face Southern Illinois Monday afternoon. The Illini boast a 14-9 all-time record against Iowa and are 14-6 all-time against Southern Illinois.
The Orange and Blue enter the weekend with a 4-2 record, coming off a second-place finish at the Northwestern Invitational in mid-November. Nine Illini climbed the all-time fastest individuals list on the final day of the three-day invite, including senior Brittany McGowan, who set a new school record in the 50 fly with a time of 25.49.
Iowa is 6-3 on the season with Big Ten wins over Wisconsin and Michigan State. The Hawkeyes return home for Friday's meet after facing Arizona, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona and Oregon State during a training trip.
"Coming off of our semester break training, it is always a great opportunity to get to compete against a high quality team like Iowa," head coach Sue Novitsky said. "In the past, we have had some really close and competitive meets. As a coaching staff, we are looking for the pieces to keep falling into place and executing complete races and dive lists. We also invite the chance to see the team keep maturing and working on competing with tremendous focus, calmness and patience. For us to be successful we will need people to keep executing their plan and stepping up in the moment."
Southern Illinois brings a 1-1 record to Monday's meet with a win over Evansville this season. The Salukis return home to face the Illini after finishing first at the 8VA Copi Coqui Invite in Puerto Rico.
"It is going to be a quick turnaround and a little out of the box for us to be competing on Monday," Novitsky said. "I like to put the athletes in different situations and see how they handle it and learn from those events. Ultimately it will come back to our preparation as a team and being able to perform in any scenario. Southern Illinois will give us a good test in the pool and allow us another chance to race. This time of year, we want to keep honing our skills and the experience gained will be very beneficial to our continued development as a team."
Visit fightingillini.com for complete results and recap at the conclusion of each day's events.