March 8, 2002
Champaign, Ill. - The Illinois Swimming and Diving program had a banner day Friday, making school history with a record four swimmers qualifying for the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas on Mar. 21-23, hosted by the University of Texas. Representing Illinois at the event will be senior and two-time All-American Jessica Aveyard, junior Alison Czmarko, and sophomores Ilkay Dikmen and Crystal McAdam.
"This is the best showing Illinois has ever had at the NCAA meet," Head Coach Sue Novitsky said. "We have put ourselves in great position to build on the success we have achieved to date. Qualifying multiple individuals for the NCAA's was a team goal for us at the outset of the year."
Three of the four competitors qualified for the NCAA's during Illinois' record setting efforts at the Big Ten Championships in Ann Arbor on Feb. 21-23. As a result of qualifying four athletes, the Illini are now eligible to participate in the relays in which they made "B" cuts in, they include: the 200 medley, 400 medley, 400 free and 800 free.
Aveyard makes her third consecutive appearance at the NCAA Championships and has qualified to compete in three events. She is the 38th seed in the 500 free with a time of 4:50.08, the 33rd seed in the 200 free with a time of 1:48.52 and is tied for the 13th spot in the 200 back with a time of 1:57.50, the event in which she has twice finished sixth place at the championships.
Czmarko returns for her second year of competition at the finals. She is the 16th seed in the 100 back, after qualifying at the University of Minnesota on Mar. 3 in a time of 55.15.
Dikmen will compete in both the 100 and 200 breast events. She is seeded 35th in the 100 with a mark of 1:03.20, while holding the 18th spot in the 200 in a time of 2:14.66.
McAdam will also compete in three events. She is the 27th seed in the 200 IM with a time of 2:01.71, 51st in the 200 free with a mark of 1:49.57and 28th in the 1650 with a qualifying time of 16:36.37.
Illinois will begin action at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in Austin, Texas on Mar. 21-23.