The Fighting Illini swimming and diving team are back in the pool this weekend at the Missouri Invitational in Columbia, Missouri, from Nov. 20-22. The Illini (3-3) will compete against nine schools including Missouri, UNLV, West Virginia, Florida International, New Mexico, Drury University, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Nebraska and Northern Colorado at the Mizzou Aquatic Center.
“The team is doing pretty well. They’re excited to compete at a three-day invitational,” head coach Sue Novitsky said. “We’re going to get the opportunity to face some teams that we’ve never competed against before so it’s always fun to swim against some different competition.”
Illinois is now 3-3 overall this season after losing last week’s dual meet to Notre Dame in a closely fought contest. Despite the final result, a number of Illini put up strong performances on the afternoon. Senior Alison Meng swam an NCAA “B” cut time in the 100 back to claim one of her three first-place finishes against the Irish and freshman Samantha Stratford’s performance in the 400 free relay, 100 breast, 100 free and 100 fly earned her Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors. The Orange and Blue will hope to continue that success into the first invitational competition this season.
“It’s good practice for the Big Ten Championships,” Novitsky said. “It’s good practice to be able to get yourself ready and learn how to swim fast in the morning to earn those night swims, which you can’t take for granted. You have to step up and be able to swim fast every day.”
The Missouri Invitational will kick off on Thursday, Nov. 20th.
College Swimming News courtesy of the University of Illinois Swimming and Diving.