Senior Bailey Pons ran away with a 1000 free win in the opening individual event on Nebraska’s senior night to power the Huskers to a home win over Big Ten opponent Illinois 160-140
Pons went 17:02.65 for an easy victory over Illinois’ Gabbie Stecker (17:14.05), which is her 39th career event win in her last home meet.
Nebraska won the 200 medley to open the meet in convincing fashion. Jacqueline Juffer, Shannon Guy, Natalie Morris and Taryn Collura went 1:43.76 to kick things off.
Guy, Morris and Collura all won individual races for the Huskers in addition. Guy went 1:04.88 to run away with the 100 breaststroke, Morris won the 200 fly in 2:02.41 (handing Illinois’ Lori Lynn her only loss of the night) and Collura went 51.58 to win the 100 free. Collura also had a shot at the 50 free win, but came up a tenth short of teammate Alexandra Bilunas’ 23.76 in a 1-2 Nebraska finish.
Lynn was on fire for the Illini – besides her second-place showing in the 200 fly, she picked up wins in the 200 breast (2:20.18) and 200 IM (2:06.50), easily separating from the field in those races. That 200 IM win spearheaded a 1-2-3 Illini finish, the centerpiece of a frantic late-meet comeback that had all sorts of momentum but simply ran out of events to run down the home team.
The other Illini double-winner was Alison Meng, who went 55.02 to win the 100 back and 55.66 to do the same in the 100 fly. Meng also led off the winning 400 free relay, combining with Courtney Pope, Jessi Holz and Megan Marchuk to go 3:26.63 for the win over a hard-charging Nebraska team.
Pope won the 200 free for Illinois early, going 1:50.99.
Nebraska got big points by going 1-2-3 in both diving events. Nicole Schwery nipped teammate Anna Filipcic by just a point on 1-meter, 297.23 to 296.18. Filipcic got back on top in 3-meter, though, with a 321.07 to 313.35 win.
Other winners were Illinois’ Gabbie Stecker in the 500 free (4:57.28) and Nebraska’s Erin Oeltjen in the 200 back (2:03.52).