Courtesy: Illinois Athletics
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – After facing off against Northwestern and UIC, the Fighting Illini swimming and diving team will see more in-state competition as Illinois hosts Illinois State and Southern Illinois at the ARC Pool on Thursday, Oct. 17 at 5 p.m. CT. The Illini will hit the road following Thursday’s meet to take on Michigan State for a dual meet on Saturday, Oct. 19 in East Lansing, Mich., at 11 a.m. CT.
Thursday’s meet will mark the annual Paint the Pool Pink event, as Illinois will honor breast cancer fighters, survivors and their families. The meet will feature giveaways, such as posters, schedule cards, pink cupcakes, pink lemonade, and free pink Join the Fight t-shirts with any donation, in efforts to raise money for the Mills Breast Cancer Institute. Immediately following the meet, the team will be doing a post-meet autograph signing.
Last Time Out
The Illini competed against host Northwestern and UIC in Evanston, Ill., on Saturday, Oct. 12. The Orange and Blue fell to Northwestern (192-107), and defeated UIC (207-92). In the pool, senior Kristin Anderson came away with two individual event victories, posting the top time in the 50 freestyle (:23.57) and in the 100 freestyle (:51.90). Sophomore Abby Cabush earned a win in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:52.31. Anderson and Cabush both swam a leg on the winning 400 freestyle relay team that finished with a time of 3:31.87.
Sophomore Taylor Shegos placed first in the 1-meter diving competition for Illinois with a six-dive total of 278.80.
About the Illinois State/Southern Illinois Series
The three programs have met for double-dual meets in each of the last five years, with the Illini holding a record of 8-2. The Orange and Blue were defeated by the Redbirds (155-143) and the Salukis (176.50-123.50) two years ago in Normal, Ill.
Scouting the Redbirds
Illinois State enters Thursday’s meet with a 1-0 dual record on the season, earning a victory over Butler. In the pool, five Redbirds each won two individual events. Kierston Farley-Sepe helped ISU to the 182-97 victory after touching the wall first in the 200 butterfly (1:57.55) and the 200 individual medley (2:10.86). Farley-Sepe also swam a leg in both the fastest 400 medley relay team and the fastest 400 freestyle relay team, finishing with a time of 3:58.42 and 3:37.10, respectively.
The Redbirds also took both diving events at the meet, as Caroline Lecoeur took the top scores in the 1-meter (281.18) and the 3-meter diving (298.58).
In the last meeting between the two teams, the Illini came away with the 200-100 victory over Illinois State.
Scouting the Salukis
Southern Illinois holds a 3-0 dual record on the season. The Salukis opened the season with a 203-92 win over McKendree. SIU went on to defeat both Valparaiso (206.50-54.50) and Bellarmine (177-84).
Laura Carver paved the way for the Salukis during the tri-dual meet, coming away with three first-place finishes in the 200 freestyle (1:57.26), 200 breaststroke (2:22.11) and the 200 individual medley (2:10.33). On the boards, Baobao Ji swept the competition, finishing with a score of 319.35 in the 1-meter and a score of 326.40 in the 3-meter diving competition, to sit atop the leaderboard.
In the last meeting between the Fighting Illini and the Salukis, the Orange and Blue defeated SIU, 195-105.
Scouting the Spartans
Michigan State owns a 2-2 dual record on the season with a 1-1 mark in Big Ten meetings. Recently, the Spartans came away with mixed results, as the team defeated Miami (Ohio), 151.50-148.50, but fell short to Cincinnati, 180-120.
Taking first-place finished for MSU was Sam Villani in the 100 backstroke (:56.95) and Erin Szara in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.98). Villani and Szara each swam a leg on the fastest 200 medley relay team that finished with a time of 1:44.56. Amanda Ling had the top score of 297.70 in the 1-meter diving for the Spartans.
MSU will compete against Pittsburgh in East Lansing on Friday afternoon before hosting the Illini.
The event order for Thursday’s meet will be as follows:
400 Medley Relay
1 Meter Diving
3 Meter Diving
200 Individual Medley
400 Freestyle Relay