Redbird Swimmers Finish Fourth in Notre Dame Relays
Oct. 14, 2011
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Illinois State swimming and diving teams finished fourth Friday night in South Bend, Ind., at the Dennis Stark Relays, the first of two competitions this weekend for the Redbirds.
The Redbirds finished ahead of Valparaiso, but fell to host Notre Dame, Texas Christian, and Oakland. Swimming among strong teams, the end result was no surprise to head coach Steve Paska, who believes the Redbirds are exactly where they need to be this early in the season.
"Our student-athletes came across a lot of competition tonight," said Paska. "At this point in the season, we are definitely heading in the right direction. We have a long way to go, but I'm impressed with how we performed tonight."
Junior swimmer Jeanette Nolte proved herself a strong contributor to the team, giving a stand-out performance swimming in five out of the ten relays of the night.
"One of the unique talents Jeanette has is that she can sprint all four strokes," said Paska. "That is not the kind of thing you usually see in a swimmer. This kind of relay meet was a great opportunity for her to stand out as a strong sprinter."
Other solid performances included senior Jessica McGee, junior Morgan Buechele, and sophomore April Livingston. Freshman swimmers Katherine Nelson, Cecilia Holmes, and Kristin Horney also showed they are rising as top contributors to the Redbird team, giving strong performances to start off the 2011-12 competitive season.
Head diving coach Phil Hoffmann is also impressed with his student-athletes in their first meet on the road.
"We stood up very well tonight against high level divers," Hoffmann said. "We know what we need to improve on, and we are excited to dive against another solid team tomorrow night in our home pool."
The Redbirds return home to Normal, Ill., Saturday, Oct. 15, to compete in a dual meet versus Missouri Valley Conference rival Evansville.
"Saturday is going to be a very competitive meet with a lot of close races," said Paska. "We are looking forward to seeing how this team rises to the challenge of competing two days in a row."
The meet with the Purple Aces will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Horton Pool.
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