Redbirds Put Up Numerous Bests at Illinois
Cecilia Holmes
Cecilia Holmes

Nov. 1, 2013

NORMAL, Ill. - - Illinois State attained over ten season and personal best times Friday evening against the Fighting Illini at the ARC Pool. After a battle to the finish Illinois State swimming and diving lost to Illinois with a final score of 206-94.

"This was the best dual meet of the season so far," said Paska. "I am very impressed with how we competed against Illinois. There are a lot of positives on how the student-athletes performed. The effort they have put into their practices shows in their swim times. We improved on at least 75 percent of our personal and season best times."

Junior swimmer Cecilia Holmes earned season bests in the 1000-yard freestyle (10:27.26) and 400-yard IM (4:32.14). Holmes also recorded a personal best in the 200-yard breaststroke(2:25.31). She earned second place in each of these events. "Holmes has competed consistently from week to week," said Paska. "It is always fun to watch her swim and this week she had a fantastic meet in the 400-yard IM."

Junior Valerie Jones also attained three season best times at Illinois in the 1000-yard freestyle (10:31.87), 500-yard freestyle (5:08.55) 400-yard IM (4:37.52). Jones placed in the top five for all of these events. "This was Jones best dual meet of her junior year," said Paska. "I am looking forward to seeing her compete this season and her times to become increasingly better."

The Redbirds consistently set new bests at the dual meet against Illinois including Junior Marissa Yontz season best times in the 200-yard freestyle (1:53.11) and 100-yard freestyle (52.92). Along with Yontz, junior Alexis Nash set a personal best time in the 200-yard butterfly (2:10.55), freshman Claire Haggerty set a personal best time in the 200-yard butterfly (2:11.74) and Yvette Kruk in the 400-yard IM (4:46.93).



"It was exciting to be a part of tonight's college meet and there are definitely things we can learn from a few of our mistakes," said Paska. "Most of the swimmers have paid attention to detail at this meet, but some still need to work on them and correct those minor details as we get ready to face the Evansville Purple Aces."

This week's Missouri Valley Conference Diver of the week, Wenting Zhang, swept the meet again taking home first place on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards. Zhang captured first on the 1-meter with a score of 301.35 and the 3-meter with a score of 328.73. Diving coach Phil Hoffmann is using this meet as an opportunity for the divers to build on for upcoming competitions.

"Illinois has a strong group of young divers," said Hoffmann. "They were solid competition for the Redbirds to go up against this weekend. This was a good experience for the student-athletes to build on for future meets to come. I am looking forward to seeing how the divers practice and prepare this week for our meet against Evansville on Friday."

Illinois State will host their next dual meet at Horton Pool Friday, Nov. 8 against conference opponent Evansville at 6 p.m.

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