Illini Set to Compete at Big Ten Championships
Feb. 13, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Fighting Illini swimming and diving team (5-7) returns to action this week for the 2012 Big Ten Championships, hosted by Iowa, Feb. 15-18 in Iowa City. The Illini will take on six nationally ranked teams, including No. 12 Indiana, No. 14 Ohio State, No. 15 Minnesota, No. 17 Michigan, No. 19 Wisconsin and No. 20 Penn State. The Orange and Blue defeated Michigan State and Nebraska earlier this season but fell to Minnesota, Wisconsin and Purdue two weeks ago at the Big Ten Quad Duals and Northwestern and Iowa prior to that.
"Heading into the Big Ten Championships is always an exciting time of year," head coach Sue Novitsky said. "It is an opportunity for the athletes to compete against a challenging and deep field of competitors. As a team, we will continue to keep the focus on ourselves to get acclimated to the environment, help minimize the distractions and stay calm. It is a long competition and it will be important for us to go through the steps each session to be ready. The team is excited and has been putting up good times in the competitions leading into the Big Ten Championships. We will continue to strive for excellence."
Sophomore Jessica Holz currently leads the team with eight individual wins on the season and boasts a team-leading time of 2:01.57 in the 200 back, making her the fifth-fastest individual to swim the event in school history. In diving, senior Britni Fisher leads the Illini with six first-place finishes and set new school records on both the one-meter (298.27) and three-meter (319.65) boards earlier this season.
Despite finishing 11th at last year's Big Ten Championships, several Illini highlighted the competition. Senior Brittany McGowan made school history with record-breaking performances in the 50 and 100 fly and earned second swims in two events, while junior Erin Rodriguez and sophomore Erica Lynn each advanced to the night session as well.
Schedule of Events
Wednesday, Feb. 15 // Finals
Thursday, Feb. 16 // Trials & Finals
Friday, Feb. 17 // Trials & Finals
Saturday, Feb. 18 // Trials & Finals