Illinois women takes it all in the Michigan State and Liberty tri-meet

Illinois blew past Big 10 rival Michigan State and up and coming Liberty this past weekend in a tri-meet hosted at Michigan State’s home pool in East Lansing, Michigan. Liberty showed a very strong presence by taking first in many events, but Illinois had much more depth and by taking second, third and fourth in many of those same events, the points added up in Illinois’ favor. The full results to the meet can be found here.

The 200 medley relay went to the Liberty quad of Kendell Hough, Emilie Kaufman, Jess Reinhardt and Meghan Babcock with a 1:42.90. Second place was the heavily upperclassman dominated Illinois team of Alison Meng, Erica Lynn, Lori Lynn and Courtney Pope in a time of 1:45.46. Third place was Michigan State with Brooke Telander, Shelby Lacy, Sarah Love and Emily Parsons.

In the  1000 free Michigan State came in with first and third place to rack up points with Becca Berman in a 10:18.84 and Chelsea Abbott with a 10:22.19, both times faster than their seed times. Second was Amelia Schilling for Illinois with a 10:19.06.

Summer Strickler, a senior and Michigan native for Michigan State, took first in a 1:52.37, while right behind her was Bethany Wakeley for Liberty in a 1:52.66 and third and fourth went to Illinois with Marybeth Howard and Megan Marchuk.

Liberty swept in for the 100 back with second and third going to Emily Duff with a 58.20 and Kendall Hough with a 58.33 but the win went to Alison Meng of Illinois with a 55.72. Illinois also grabbed fourth, fifth and sixth place with Cara Chuang, Sloane McDermott and Jessi Holz respectively.

Emily Kaufman, a Liberty senior, crushed the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:02.27 which beat second place, Michigan State’s Shelby Lacy, by almost 4 seconds who swam a 1:06.17. Third and fourth went to Illinois with Bella Schamber and Erica Lynn with a 1:06.67 and 1:06.68.

Illinois swept the 200 fly with a first, second and third place with Sarah Sykstus, Gabbie Stecker and Lori Lynn with respective times of 2:04.70, 2:05.26 and 2:05.52. Michigan State took fourth and fifth place with Elizabeth Brown in a 2:06.09 and Hannah Pugh in a 2:06.33.

The 50 free made a huge splash with Meghan Babcock taking the pool record in first place with a 23.16 which previously stood at 23.23 by Olivia Kabacinski of Iowa. Liberty also took third with a Brye Ravettine with a 23.70 while second went to Courtney Pope, an Illinois senior, with a 23.68.

The three big names in Liberty, Illinois and Michigan State freestyle step up to the plate once again taking first, second and third respectively with Meghan Babcock with a 51.37, Courtney Pope with a 51.40 and Summer Strickler with a 51.61 in the 100 free.

The 200 back was a back and forth battle between Liberty and Illinois, Emily Duff of Illinois taking first with a 2:04.42 and Victoria Tschoke taking third with a 2:07.58. Illinois showed depth but not much speed as they placed second with Jessi Holz with a 2:07.08, fourth with Sloane McDermott with a 2:07.59 and fifth with Marybeth Howard with a 2:07.78.

Emilie Kaufman takes the 200 breaststroke with a 2:16.68 as she dominates the field by five seconds. Second place went to Erica Lynn of Illinois with a 2:21.60 and Marina Borri takes third for Michigan State with a 2:22.32.

Illinois takes first and third in the 500 free with Gabbie Stecker as she breaks the 5 minute mark with a 4:59.73 and Amelia Schilling with a 5:03.82. Second place Kristin VanDeventer swam a 5:02.73 for Liberty and Michigan State scores with Chelsea Abbott in a 5:04.55.

Liberty scoops up the first and second spot with a Jess Reinhardt and Bethany Wakeley in the 100 fly with a 54.26 and 56.09. Michigan State takes third with Sarah Love in a 56.38 and Illinois swimmers Alison Meng and Sarah Sykstus take fourth and fifth for Illinois.

Liberty’s Emilie Kaufman makes a splash in the 200 IM by sweeping the field with a 2:02.98 and dominates second place Lori Lynn by 5 seconds, who swam a 2:07.60. Third place also goes to Illinois with Sarah Sykstus with her back to back 100 fly/200 IM combo with a 2:07.66.

To wrap up the meet, Illinois takes the top spot in the 400 free relay with the team of Alison Meng, Meghan Marchuk, Sabrinne Gibson and Courtney Pope with a 3:27.95. Second and third place go to Liberty with times of 3:30.41 and 3:31.14.


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Illinois “blew” past Liberty? Would hardly say that…Liberty won that meet going away in the pool but couldn’t answer the Illini’s diving points. Its only a matter of time before Liberty takes a relay to NC’s in addition to the individuals they’ve had the past few years. That team is no joke.

About Gisselle Kohoyda

Midland, Michigan native Gisselle Kohoyda is all too familiar with life in the pool and on the deck, even with her late start in the sport at the age of 14. This part time coach and full time breaststroker focuses her driven energy towards social media management, journalism, writing practices, …

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