|ISU splashes past Nebraska-Omaha|
|Written by Kristi Demonbreun, Sports Editor|
|Monday, 14 January 2013 17:44|
The Illinois State swimming and diving team spent its winter break on a training trip in Puerto Rico. At the conclusion of the trip, the team competed in the Copa Coqui Invitational in San Juan, Puerto Rico. ISU took fifth place in the invitational out of a field of 10 teams.
“The girls trained really hard and I think one of our biggest things was that we had a great time together,” Phil Hoffmann, head diving coach, said.
The hours of practice and competition the team put in over winter break showed on Saturday at Horton Pool when the Redbirds beat Nebraska-Omaha with a score of 207-90.
ISU’s 200-yard medley relay team kicked off the meet with a first place finish and a time of 1:49.99. Sammy Schuckles held down the first leg, followed by Courtney Taylor, Lexi Nash and Katherine Nelson, respectively.
Cecilia Holmes kept the winning-streak alive in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:34.34, and she did not stop there. Holmes came in first place in the 500-yard freestyle (5:10.52), as well as the 200-yard IM (2:12.01).
“Cecilia had a solid 10 days of training that carried over to today’s meet. I am impressed in how she raced. She is a consistent swimmer, and she always prepares herself to race,” head swimming coach Steve Paska said.
Following Cecilia’s strong performance, Tori Alland took first in the 200-yard freestyle (1:56.52) and senior Danielle Schumacher came in just after claiming a second place finish (1:57.88). Senior Morgan Buechele also tallied a first place finish in the 50-yard breaststroke (31.53).
Jeanette Nolte came out to compete in her last meet at Horton Pool with three first place finishes. The 100-yard butterfly (57.76) marked her first win of the day, followed by the 100-yard freestyle (53.26) and 50-yard butterfly (26.69).
“Jeanette has had a solid senior year, and she has had great times at many different meets. She is a consistent dual-meet swimmer, and it has been a pleasure watching her swim the last four years,” Paska said.
Success did not stop on the swimming side of the competition.
“Today I was pleasantly surprised with where they were coming off the training trip … I was impressed with how they performed,” Hoffmann said. “I think it is signs of great things to come and we have work to do, but I hope they realize we’re just a little bit off from where we want to be.”
Sophomore Wenting Zhang broke the pool and school record again on the 1-meter board (331.35), and she also took first place in the 3-meter board (319.95).
The two senior divers, Madicyn Prouty and Maureen Doyle, also finished strong in their last competition at Horton Pool. Doyle took second in the 1-meter dive (243.97) and third in the 3-meter dive (213.97). Prouty took third in the 1-meter board (237.00) and second in the 3-meter board (217.20).
“Maureen and Maddie have been such a special group of girls for me and they have always worked hard from their first practice here to the end, but they also know that it’s a step in the path and we’re on our final push to conference and they both want to end well,” Hoffmann said.
The Redbirds will be back in action again at 1 p.m. on Jan. 19 in Washington, Mo.