Michigan State Swimming and Diving Ties Illinois in 50th Anniversary of Spartan Women’s Program

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Michigan State celebrated the 50th anniversary of its women's swimming and diving program. Photo Courtesy: Dan D'Addona

The Michigan State swimming and diving team celebrated the 50th anniversary of its women’s program on Saturday. The Spartans tied Big Ten rival Illinois 150-150.


Michigan State Swimming and Diving Press Release

“It was very close and when you look at the results it was a tight meet. I’m happy with the way we swam,” said head coach Matt Gianiodis. “I think we built off of yesterday at some levels, but give them credit they swam well, especially down the stretch. We get a week off now so we’ll see what we can do.”

The Spartan women finished the meet with six first-place finishes.

The women’s 200 medley relay claimed their third-consecutive first-place finish of the season. Clocking a time of 1:42.73 was Sam Villani, Erin Szara, Kasey Venn and Allie Heineman.

Freshman Emma Inch won the 1000 freestyle with a time of 10:18.24. Freshman Sophia Balow picked up a second-place finish in the same event (10:20.02).

Junior Erin Szara picked up her fourth-consecutive first-place finish in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.88). Freshman Kasey Venn and junior Abbey Neveling took second and third place with time of 1:03.86 and 1:05.03, respectively.

Sophomore Ava Boutrous took second in the 200 butterfly with a 2:06.85. Junior Marie Dickson picked up the third-place finish in the same event with a 2:07.43.

Taking first in the 50 freestyle was senior Allie Heineman, touching the pad at 23.74.

Neveling placed first in the 200 breaststroke, coming in with a time of 2:19.93.

In the 100 butterfly, the Spartans took the top two spots. Venn claimed first place and sophomore Madeline Reilly took second with times of 56.51 and 57.75, respectively.

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Photo Courtesy: Dan D’Addona

On the diving side, redshirt-senior Julia Oppedisano took second in the 1-meter (285.75) and junior Amanda Ling took second in the 3-meter, 290.17.

The Spartans also celebrated 50 years of the women’s swimming and diving program with alumni, friends and family after the meet.

“I’m really proud and going to enjoy this right now. We got about 120-130 alumni to come back,” said Gianiodis. “It means a lot to me that they are this connected to the program.”

Illinois Press Release

The University of Illinois swimming and diving team tied Michigan State, 150-150, on Saturday inside McCaffree Pool in East Lansing, Mich. The Illini earned victories in 10 of 16 events on the day.

“Michigan State competed well and came out and grabbed a commanding lead at the start of the meet. We stayed calm and kept clawing our way back into it,” said head coach Sue Novitsky. “We talked about putting growth over outcome before the meet and as a team we definitely showed that we have strength, toughness and resiliency. It has been a demanding three day stretch and we handled it well. Now we have to get back to work and keep growing as a team.”

In the pool, sophomore Abigail Cabush and junior Jimena Martinez placed first in two individual events each. Cabush touched the wall first in the 200 freestyle and in the 500 freestyle with a time of 1:52.30 and 5:03.34, respectively. Martinez sat atop the leaderboard in both the 200 butterfly (2:06.20) and the 20 individual medley (2:05.51).

Freshman Athena Salafatinos came away with a win in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:01.74, while senior Kristin Anderson swam the fastest time of :51.94 in the 100 freestyle to finish first in the event.

In the 100 backstroke, the Orange and Blue took the top-three spots as sophomore Sarah Cano placed first with a time of :56.78, followed by Salafatinos with a time of :57.01 and senior Aby Olson with a time of :57.21 to take second and third place, respectively.

The 400 freestyle relay team of Cabush, junior Emma Curtis, Salafatinos and Anderson swam a time of 3:27.76 to take the top spot in the event. The team of freshman Isabelle Guerra, junior Gabrielle Loeck, freshman Mariclaire Lynch and freshman Hannah Aegerter took third in the event with a time of 3:35.11

The 200 medley relay team, membered by Olson, freshman Divya Kale, senior Rebecca Corzine and Anderson placed third with a time of 1:46.42.

Sophomore Taylor Shegos came away with a first-place finish in the 3-meter diving competition, posting a score of 311.70, a career-best. The Fenton, Mich., native also earned a score of 287.92 in 1-meter diving to win the event.

Sophomore diver Madelyn Crosby placed sixth in 3-meter (226.42) and fifth 1-meter (245.39), while freshman Erin Young totaled scores of 226.65 and 199.27 in each event to place fifth and sixth, respectively.