The Illini have received verbals from distance freestyler Emily Martin and backstroker Jamie Kolar, both from in state, and they’ve now added Patriot Aquatic Club’s Haley Nelson to their incoming freshman class. Nelson is a Winter Juniors qualifier in the 100y back, and adds prowess in the 200 back as well as the 100 through the 500 free. At the IHSA Championships last season, Nelson finished 4th in the 200 free, 8th in the 100 back, led off Lake Forest High School’s 6th place medley relay, and split a 51.46 on their runner-up 400 free relay. Nelson’s Top Times
- 100 back – 55.83
- 200 back – 2:02.33
- 100 free – 52.31
- 200 free – 1:50.83
- 500 free – 5:00.07
Nelson is a great complement to incoming freshman Jamie Kolar, who is a 56.1 in the 100 back and a 2:01.6 in the 200 back. Those two will be huge additions to the Illini backstroke group, as they just graduated program record holder in the 100 back, Alison Meng, after last season. In addition to her backstroke, Nelson will contribute with her freestyle strengths. The Illini averaged a 1:48-mid on their 800 free relay, and Nelson is a potential candidate for that relay when she gets to campus.
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