Jan. 25, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Sprinter Jenny Rusch capped off senior night with a win in the 50 freestyle and junior Cristee Cordes qualified for Zone Diving Championships as the Michigan State women's swimming and diving team fell to Michigan on Friday, Jan. 25 in McCaffree Pool in IM West with a final score of 174-120.
"I was happy for the seniors tonight," said head coach Matt Gianiodis. "It was cool to have them all on the same relay team. We were good tonight, we didn't really collect a lot of points, but Michigan just swam very well. We dove extremely well. Cristee Cordes winning the 1-meter, especially against Michigan, is a big deal. Jenny (Rusch) winning the 50 freestyle was great, too. We swam well, so we'll just see what we can do tomorrow."
Friday's meet recognized the seniors on the women's team - Lauren Baisden, Tori Merritt. Alexandra Pierce and Rusch. The four seniors kicked off with the 400 medley relay. The top Spartan relay team of junior Lauren Daugherty, freshman Marina Borri, freshman Elizabeth Brown and junior Summer Strickler finished third with a time of 3:56.46.
Sophomore Becca Berman swam a season-best time of 10:18.94 in the 1,000 freestyle, placing third in the event. In the 100 backstroke, Baisden finished second with a time of 57.43. She also placed second in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:03.24.
The 50 freestyle saw an incredible race between the Spartans and the Wolverines, but Michigan State came out on top with Rusch claiming the win with a time of 23.36. Strickler later placed second in the 100 freestyle with a time of 52.40.
Freshman Elizabeth Brown swam a career-best time of 2:03.49 in the 200 butterfly to take second-place points away from the Wolverines.
The Spartans wrapped up competition for the evening with the 200 freestyle relay. Finishing second was the team of Rusch, Merritt, Daugherty and Strickler who stopped the clock in 1:36.35.
On the boards, sophomore Alison Menzies remains undefeated on the 3-meter with a score of 283.95 to earn the win, while teammate Cristee Cordes finished third with 265.50. Later, Cordes claimed her first collegiate individual title on the 1-meter competition with an NCAA Zone Diving Championships qualifying score of 282.45. Both scores were season-bests for the junior Spartan.
"Well it's always nice to beat Michigan on the boards," said diving coach Eric Best. "We won both diving events, so that was nice. The best part was with Cristee winning the 1-meter; it's her first collegiate victory ever and made a Zone qualifying score, which is terrific. She's had a rough season with injuries, so it's great to see her come around and come back. For Alison, yet another win on 3-meter. I think she was as happy about Cristee qualifying as Cristee was because now she has train and go to the meet with."
The women will join the men as the Spartans travel to take on Oakland University tomorrow, Jan. 26 at 2 p.m.