Stratford Sets Illinois School Record with 57.9 100 IM

Teams from across the state traveled to the University of Illinois for their Dual Meet Spectacular, with the host team Illinois taking 3 victories against Western Illinois (366-69), Olivet Nazarene (338-101) and Eastern Illinois (371-66). Illinois’ Samantha Stratford won 5 events, including the 100 IM where she set a new pool and school record at 57.90.

Western Illinois:

Full Meet Results

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Chris Neaveill set pool and personal records on Friday (Oct. 16) as Western Illinois swimming and diving raced against Illinois, Eastern Illinois and Olivet Nazarene at the ARC Pool in Champaign.

Neaveill broke the Illinois pool record and recorded a personal record by swimming the 50-fly in 23.18.

Neaveill later teamed with JD Furr, Samir Almhiemid and his brother Tyler Neaveill to touch second in the 400-medley relay in 3:36.50.

John Hall also scored a first-place touch in the men’s 400-IM in 4:12.90.

“We had a really good meet given the format of having to swim almost every event in one six-hour meet with a short break in the middle,” said head coachGreg Naumann. “The biggest challenge going into the meet was going to be able to keep the energy up, and swim fast for the back half of the meet. They needed a little extra motivation to help them get up for the second session, but they brought their A games.”

In the men’s 800-free relay, the team of Dylon Rykosky, Nick Bonneville, Hall and Matt Abercrombie registered a second-place finish in 7:05.78. Western received another second-place spot from Rykosky, Josh Hill and the Neaveill brothers with a time of 1:27.03 in the 200-free relay.

In the 50-back, Almhiemid took third in 25.34. Furr also came in third with a 27.48 time in the 50-breast before registering the same spot in the 200-breast in 2:15.52. Abercrombie placed third with a time of 1:57.89 in the 200-back.

The Leathernecks took spots three-through-five in the 200-fly. Rykosky (1:58.31) took third place and was followed closely by Cameron Van De Velde(4th/1:58.34) and Almhiemid (5th/2:06.91).

In the 3-meter dive, Viktor Rusenas took first place with a score of 240.75. Quetzal Gallagher came in second at 171.80. On the women’s side, Melanie Pearson‘s complied a 203.80 score to pull in fourth.

“Our divers are also starting to really see the benefits of their hard work,” Naumann said. “Melanie, Viktor, Quetzal, and Nathalie (Castro) are all starting to get their basics polished up, and are starting to even pick up new dives. It’s very satisfying to see the divers get to the point where they can start doing more difficult dives in practice, but even better when they take those dives into their competition lists.”

The Western women put up a pair of fourth-place finishes. In the 400-medley relay, Erica Hagen, Sarah Rosenhauer, Amy Borgstede and Lizzie Hollopeterput together a 4:18.04 time. Amanda Schaefer‘s 5:23.09 time earned her fourth in the 500-free.

Hollopeter, Marissa Purdum, Hagen and Hannah Fisher posted a fifth-place finish in the 200-free relay with a time of 1:44.23.

Andie Villez came in sixth in the 200-breast in 2:36.79.

“We still have a long way to go for where we want to be at the end of the year, but the team continues to give the coaches their best everyday,” said Naumann. “We pride ourselves on training very hard throughout the season, and finish it off with some insane time drops for conference. We’re going to continue to work hard everyday, and continue to get better.”

The Leathernecks’ next swim is against Valparaiso on November 6 in Macomb.

Swimming news courtesy of Western Illinois Swimming & Diving.

Eastern Illinois:

Illinois Invitational Final Results / Illinois Invitational Team Scores

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The EIU men’s & women’s swimming teams opened up their 2015-16 season at the Illinois Invitational. The men were slated in a dual meet against Western Illinois and Olivet Nazarene, while the women had separate dual meets against Illinois, Olivet Nazarene, and Western Illinois. The men lost both of their matchups to Western Illinois and Olivet Nazarene. The women dropped their matchups against Illinois and Olivet Nazarene, but were able to come out on top against Western Illinois.

The men’s unit was very competitive all throughout the meet. The men were able to place themselves with the third best time in the 200 yard freestyle relay and the 400 yard medley relay. The quartet of Stephen Truchon, Jennings Soccorso, Nicholas Harkins, and Shane Witzki raced out to a time of 1:27.85 in the 200 yard freestyle relay for third best honors. Truchon and Soccorso paired up with teammates Brogan O’Doherty and Matt Jacobs finished with the third best time in the 400 yard medley relay at 3:36.98.

O’Doherty and Jacobs also finished with second place honors in individual events as O’Doherty finished with a time of 25.26 in the 50 yard backstroke, and Jacobs finished with a time of 2:14.80 in the 200 yard breaststroke.

The EIU women saw some competitive results as well to begin the year. The group of Martee Grainger, Kelsey Ferguson, Paige Eavenson, and Kaylee Morris paced themselves to a third place finish in the 400 yard medley relay with a time of 4:12.22. Joanna Wakefield, Dani Dimatteo, Caitlin Danforth, and Morris followed that third place finish with another one of their own, this time in the 200 yard freestyle relay finishing at 1:41.92.

Morris earned herself a fourth place result in the 50 yard butterfly at 27.33, while her teammate Ferguson placed fifth in the 200 yard breaststroke at 2:33.65.

The EIU swimming team returns home tomorrow (Oct. 17) as they host IUPUI in Padovan Pool beginning at 12 p.m.

Swimming news courtesy of Eastern Illinois Swimming & Diving.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Illinois Swimming and Diving Team played host to Olivet Nazarene, Eastern Illinois and Western Illinois in the Fighting Illini Dual Meet Spectacular on Friday, Oct. 16, at the Arc Pool. On the night, the Illini set five pool records along with a pair of school records. The team earned three victories on the night by defeating Western Illinois (366-69), Olivet Nazarene (338-101) and Eastern Illinois (371-66).

“I thought the team performed well from start to finish today,” head coach Sue Novitskystated. “We were able to set five pool records and two school records which is outstanding for being on the deck for over six hours. There was a lot of energy all the way through the meet which is what we wanted to see.”

In the first session of competition, the Illini won 11 of the 12 events, highlighted by three pool records and one school record. First to rewrite the record book was the relay combination of Gabbie Stecker, Amelia Schilling, Megan Vuong and Samantha Stratford with a time of 7:27.17 in the 800 freestyle relay. The previous record was 7:31.65 set by Michigan in 1985. Three events later, Lori Lynn set the pool and school record in the 50 fly with a mark of :24.68. Stratford also set a pool record in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:01.96.

On the boards, Olivia Kassouni scored 288.25 in the three-meter diving event, securing a first place finish. In doing so, she qualified for the NCAA Zone Diving competition. In the one-meter diving event, Jessica Clifford led the Illinois unit with a reading of 237.32, good for second place.

During intermission, nine swimmers and divers, as well as their families, were honored in a senior day ceremony. The honorary seniors included Clifford, Jennifer Coady, Stephanie Hein, Lynn, Sloane McDermott, Isabella Schamber, Hollie Smith, Sarah Sykstus and Kirsten Zborek.

The Illini continued their winning ways in session two by winning 10 of the 12 events. Stratford earned three of her five event victories in the second session, including a pool and school record time in the 100 IM (:57.99). With the Fighting Illini Dual Meet Spectacular marking the first time the event was held at the ARC Pool, the Illinois 4×100 relay team of Stratford, Lynn, Stecker and Gabriele Serniute now owns the pool record (3:59.97).

Next up for the Orange and Blue unit will be a trip to East Lansing to take on Michigan State on Friday, October 23rd at 3 p.m CT.


800 freestyle relay – Stecker, Schilling, Vuong, Stratford – 7:27.17

50 breaststroke – Coady – :30.65

50 butterfly – Lynn – :24.68

3 meter diving – Kassouni – 288.25

400 medley relay – McDermott, Coady, Lynn, Bethke – 3:51.02

500 freestyle – Schilling – 5:06.71

200 breaststroke – Coady – 2:24.98

200 butterfly – Stratford – 2:01.96

400 IM – Stratford – 4:23.08

200 freestyle relay – Bethke, Zborek, Vuong, Stecker – 1:36.05

200 medley relay – McDermott, Schamber, Lynn, Bethke – 1:46.90

1000 freestyle – Stecker – 10:25.72

200 freestyle – Stratford – 1:52.18

50 freestyle – Zborek – :24.28

400 medley 4×100 IM relay – Stratford, Lynn, Stecker, Serniute – 3:59.97

100 freestyle – Vuong – :52.54

100 butterfly – Lynn – :55.48

200 IM – Stratford – 2:04.55

400 freestyle relay – Bethke, Stecker, Vuong, Sykstus – 3:33.58

Swimming news courtesy of Illinois Swimming & Diving.

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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