(ISN) – COLUMBUS, Ohio – In the opening session of the Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships, the Illinois swimming and diving team showed that its preparation over the course of the season was worth it. The Illini set three school records in the competition’s first two events.
Things began Wednesday with the 200 medley relay. The team of Alison Meng, Isabella Schamber, Lori Lynn andGabrielle Bethke swam 1:39.81, breaking the Illinois school record in the event. In addition to the relay record, Alison Meng broke her own school in the 50 back, swimming 24.91 in the relay’s opening leg.
The 800 free relay followed the lead of the 200 medley relay, setting another school record. The team of Gabbie Stecker,Amelia Schilling, Samantha Stratford and Megan Marchuk swam 7:13.98, finishing in eighth place.
“We had a fantastic start to the meet,” stated head coach Sue Novitsky. “The 200 medley relay crushed our previous school record by over two seconds. In addition, Alison Meng broke her own school record leading off the relay. The team followed that with a terrific swim in the 800 free relay, breaking the school record by almost five seconds.”
The Illini sit in 10th place after the first session of the championships. Action will resume tomorrow morning 11 a.m. ET with the preliminary rounds of the 500 free, 200 IM and 50 free.
“We talked about staying focused and connected as a team, racing tough and bringing contagious positive energy,” continued Novitsky. ” We need to keep getting ourselves ready to go tomorrow and have a strong prelims session.”