Redbirds Soar In Copa Coqui Invitational
Jan. 9, 2014
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - The Illinois State swim team trained in San Juan, Puerto Rico during their winter break to prepare for the Copa Coqui Invitational. After a tough battle at the invitational the Redbirds earned second-place on Sunday, January 5.
Illinois State finished the invite with 40.5 points while Connecticut fell to the Redbirds with 20.5 points, and Illinois took first-place with a final score of 58.
"The 2014 Copa Coqui Invitational was a great way for the Redbirds to begin the new year," said head coach Steve Paska. "Finishing in second-place was fantastic. I am impressed with the team's performance after the challenging workouts in San Juan since Dec. 29. It was a beautiful day for a meet, sunny and 85 degrees with more than 500 student-athletes who competed."
Highlighting the individual events Juniors April Livingston and Cecilia Holmes both took home first place honors. Livingston finished first in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:17.13) and Holmes in the 200 individual meter medley (2:30.77).
A number of other student-athletes finished amongst the tops times for individual events. Junior Marissa Yonts earned second-place in the 50 Meter freestyle (27.65). Sophomore Courtney Taylor continued this run with a third-place victory in the 100 meter breaststroke (1:18.72)and a fifth-place finish in the 200 meter individual medley (2:33.24). Building on the Redbirds' momentum Junior Lexi Nash earned third place in the 100 meter butterfly( 1:08.17) and freshman Rachel Root took fourth-place in the 100 meter backstroke (1:09.88). Junior Katherine Nelson finished the individual events off with a fifth-place win in the 50 meter freestyle (28.45).
Samantha Schuckles, Taylor, Nash and Yontz started the relays off by earning second-place in the 200 meter medley relay (2:04.79). The last event of the invite was the 10x 50 medley relay. The Redbirds are not used to competiting in the format of this event, but finished the meet strong earning second place. The relay consisted of Erica Halley, Yontz, Nelson, Schuckles, Kristin Verkler, Yvette Kruk, Nash, Laura Paskoff, Claire Haggerty and Holmes.
"We had our last meet, the Zippy Invitational in early December and it was a tremendous weekend," said Paska."However, it has been 27 days since we had a competition before the Copa Coqui Invitational. I think it is important to regain the edge of what it feels like to race again, as we move forward to finish our dual meet season these next 3 weeks before we head to the Missouri Valley Conference Championship in February."
The Redbirds will go head to head in their first dual-meet of 2014 on Saturday, Jan 11 at 1pm against Northern Iowa at home.