Oct. 26, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State women's swimming and diving team had a thrilling meet, but fell to Illinois 153-147 on Friday, Oct. 26 in Urbana, Ill. The Spartans split the sixteen events with the Illini, but came up short on the last relay of the evening to lose the meet.
"The races were really tight," said head coach Matt Gianiodis. "Our seniors Jenny Rusch, Lauren Baisden and Alexandra Pierce each won an event. They really stepped up and did a nice job. I thought our freshman swam incredibly well, too."
MSU opened up the meet with a second-place finish in the 200 medley relay with a team of Baisden, Pierce, Rusch and Brooke Telander. Michigan State also took the third and fourth-place points in the event.
Sophomore Becca Burman sparked the Spartans with a win in the 1,000 freestyle, stopping the clock in 10:23.32. Freshman Chelsea Abbot finished second in the event with a time of 10:27.39.
In the 200 backstroke, Baisden took home an individual title, recording a time of 2:03.79. Baisden also finished second in the 100 backstroke with a time of 58.08 and junior Lauren Daugherty was less than a second behind to finish third in 58.34.
Rusch took two first-place finishes away from the Illini, breaking the pool record in the 50 freestyle with a time of 23.70 before clocking in a winning time of 52.47 in the 100 freestyle.
After winning individual titles in each meet this season, freshman Elizabeth Brown won the 100 butterfly to continue the streak, posting a time of 57.37.
In the 200 individual medley, Pierce took an individual crown with a time of 2:08.02. Freshman Michelle Garland was close behind to take second place in the event, recording a time of 2:08.06.
The Spartans dominated on the boards as Alison Menzies won the 1-meter with a score of 250.35. She also took an individual title on the 3-meter for the third-straight meet, improving on her personal-best to earn a score of 298.65.
"I'm really proud of our kids," said Gianiodis. "They did a really nice job. They swam really well. We won eight of the sixteen events, we just couldn't win that last relay."
The meet came down to the last event of the night as the Spartan 200 freestyle relay team of Rusch, Telander, Emily Parsons and Summer Strickler couldn't hold off the Illinois women who broke the pool record to seal the win.
"They beat us, but it was tough," said Gianiodis. "We really thought we were in the position to win that last relay, but they earned it."
The women will be back in action as they travel to Jension, Mich., for a co-ed dual meet against Grand Valley State University on Friday, Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. ET.