Gena Jorgenson Breaks Pool Record in 1000 As Nebraska Beats Illinois 168-132

by Sidney Zacharias 0

January 22nd, 2023 Big Ten, College, News

Nebraska vs. Illinois

  • January 21, 2023
  • Devaney Center Natatorium, Lincoln, NE
  • SCY (25 yards)
  • Full Results
  • Team Scores:
    • Nebraska – 168
    • Illinois – 132

The Nebraska Huskers hosted the Illinois Fighting Illini on Saturday for a Big Ten match-up. The meet was tightly contested from start to finish, with both teams suited up. They switched places for the lead throughout the meet, but Nebraska ultimately came out on top after building a 20 point lead going into the final break, scoring 168 points to Illinois’ 132. 

Nebraska and Illinois have met annually since 2007. This meet brings the series record to 10-6, with Nebraska holding their edge over Illinois. The Huskers also won last season, while the Illini won the year before that. 

Illinois opened the swimming portion of the meet with a 1-2 finish in the 200 medley relay. The ‘B’ team of Suvana Baskar (26.03), Mariclaire Lynch (28.84), Logan Kuehne (23.88), and Laurel Bludgen (22.92) combined to win by half a second over the Illinois ‘A’ team in 1:41.67. Kuehne’s 50 fly split of 23.88 was the fastest of the field by nearly a second.

Nebraska freshman Gena Jorgenson picked up their first win of the meet in the 1000, as she clocked a 9:53.58 to beat Illinois freshman Liv Dorshorst by 3 seconds. Jorgenson’s time was not only a personal best by over 15 seconds, but it also set a new pool record. She went on to grab 2nd in both the 500 free (4:51.96) and 400 IM (4:19.23).

Dorshorst’s time of 9:56.73 was also a record-breaking performance, as she shattered the Illinois school record of 9:59.21, which was set in 2002 by Crystal McAdam. This comes after Dorshorst recorded the 2nd-fastest time in program history last weekend in the 1650. Junior Cara Bognar picked up 3rd with a 10:06.15, tying her for the 5th-fastest performance in program history. She too impacted the top-10 list last weekend in the 1650, as she moved to 9th all-time.  

Consistent with the back and forth nature of the meet, Illinois recorded a 1-2 finish in the 100 back only for Nebraska to immediately answer with their own 1-2 finish in the 100 breast. Illinois senior Athena Salafatinos clocked a 55.13 to win the 100 backstroke, while Jojo Randby took first in the 100 breast with a 1:02.64.

Nebraska’s Shannon Stott won two individual events for the Huskers, beginning with a dominating performance in the 200 fly. Stott led a 1-2-3 Nebraska finish in the event with a 1:58.40, and was the only swimmer to break the 2-minute barrier. Stott also won the 500 free in 4:50.01, with Jorgenson (4:51.96) and Molly Rosenthal (4:56.52) snagging the next two spots. 

Illinois owned the sprint freestyle events, with Isabelle Guerra and Laurel Bludgen winning the 50 and 100 free, respectively. Guerra clocked a 23.07 to take the 50, while Bludgen won the 100 in a personal best time of 51.23, just a hundredth faster than Nebraska’s Kucera (51.24). Guerra also recorded a personal best time of 55.61 in the 100 fly to take 2nd behind Nebraska’s Caitlin Cairns, who also posted a personal best time to win the event in 54.28.

Illinois picked up two more wins in the 200 breaststroke and 400 IM. Senior Kaleigh Haworth cruised to a win in the 200 breast with a personal best time of 2:13.98, taking first by nearly two seconds. Her swim moves her to 4th fastest all-time in program history. In the 400 IM, freshman Sara Jass made up a 3-second deficit on Jorgenson during breaststroke to overtake her for the lead, touching the wall in a personal best time of 4:18.43, making her the 5th-fastest performer in school history. 

Nebraska ended the meet with a win in the 400 freestyle relay. The quartet of Kucera (51.47), Cairns (51.02), Stott (50.94), and Giulia Marchi (50.51) combined for a final time of 3:23.94, just 0.09 quicker than Illinois. Lily Olson had the fastest split of the event at 50.41 as the Illini’s anchor leg.

Nebraska’s win was in large part due to their performance on the boards, as the duo of Kelsey Clairmont and Reagan Hinze went 1-2 in both diving events, with Clairmont winning both. 

Both teams are working toward the Big Ten Championships from February 15-18 in Ann Arbor, where last year Nebraska placed 9th and Illinois placed 11th. Illinois has concluded their dual meet season, while Nebraska has one more remaining against Rutgers. 

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