Illinois State swimming and diving teams both claimed victories in their first dual meet of the season at the University of Nebraska-Omaha last weekend.
This was the first time both the swimming and diving teams have competed together all season, and both swim coach Steve Paska and diving coach Phil Hoffmann looked forward to the event.
“The weeks prior to this meet, the Redbirds have competed consistently, passing each test,” Paska said.
Both teams continued their success by defeating UNO in events such as the 400-freestyle, 1650-freestyle and 200-yard individual medley for swimming and the 1-meter and 3-meter dives.
The swim team won the meet with a final score of 201-98.
“The thing about swimming is the score is not always indicative of how close some of those races actually are,” Paska said. “Overall, I was impressed with how the swimmers performed after the long bus trips over the past two days.”
Cecilia Holmes anchored the victorious 400-freestyle team and won three individual events.
Holmes ended the day with a time of 17:40.67 in the 1650-freestyle and came just short of season-best times with times of 5:10.92 in the 500-freestyle and 2:10.92 in the 200-yard individual medley.
“Cecilia has been extremely consistent with her training, and that showed in her performance today,” Paska said. “She trains relentlessly and gives 100 percent every day.”
Marissa Yontz, the current Missouri Valley Conference Swimmer of the Week, broke her season-best records while winning the 100-freestyle (52.15) and the 200-freestyle (1:56.23). Yontz placed second in the 50-freestyle (24.26) and was a member of the winning 400-freestyle relay team (3:34.73).
“It’s been a joy to watch Marissa race the past couple of weekends,” Paska said. “Two weekends in a row now, she’s been outstanding and showed that she deserved to be named the [Missouri] Valley Swimmer of the Week.”
The swim team was not the only team of Redbirds that took home wins from the meet against UNO. The Illinois State diving team, with the help of Wenting Zhang, Maggie Kopp and Molly Schatz, came out ahead of UNO in many of the diving events.
Zhang, the current MVC Diver of the Year, dominated the competition with wins on both the one-and three-meter events with scores of 323.7 and 327.16.
Kopp finished fifth on the one-meter board, scoring 193.34 and fourth on the three-meter board with a score of 205.95.
Schatz helped round out the competition for the Redbirds by finishing third on the one-meter board with a score of 205.19.
“For our first dual meet on the diving side, I thought they dove really well,” Hoffmann said. “Being on the road in a new environment is tough, so for them to come away with these results is great.”
Both teams return to the pool this Friday, for another dual meet against the University of Illinois in Champaign, Ill.