CHAMPAIGN– Illini senior-to-be Barbie Viney will represent Illinois at the Conoco-Phillips National Championships and USA team trials beginning Tuesday in Irvine, Calif.
The meet will serve as a selection meet for five international teams that will swim at the 2006 Mutual of Omaha Pan Pacific Championships, 2007 FINAWorld Championships, 2007 Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool, 2007 World University Games and 2007 Pan American Games.
Viney will compete in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle events.
He's the coach of a diving program that's been displaced from its under-renovation pool for the next two years.
And when his divers need to practice off a 3-meter board, they'll have to leave town. Perhaps even the state, if Purdue is willing to share its facility.
CHAMPAIGN – Chris Waters, a former Missouri Valley Conference Diving Coach of the Year, was named to the same position at Illinois on Wednesday.
Waters coached last season at Tulane before the program was suspended because of Hurricane Katrina.
I earned All-America honors in 1-meter and 3-meter diving in 1990. That was the first of three consecutive seasons in which I competed in both events at the NCAA meet, with my best finish being a 10th in 3-meter in 1990.
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – Kathryn Easey of Illinois placed 63rd in the preliminaries of the 100-meter breaststroke Friday at the USA Swimming Spring National Championships. The Illini senior finished in 1 minute, 18.20 seconds. The top 24 advanced to championship and consolation finals.
I received honorable mention All-America honors for the Illini women's swimming team in 2001 for my accomplishments in the 400-yard individual medley. I finished 14th in that event at the NCAA Championships, capping a season in which I established the school record in the event at 4:17.04.
In 1996, I became the women's swimming program's first GTE-CoSIDA Academic All-American. My best event was the 50 butterfly, in which I own the UI school record. I also excelled in the 200 breast, where I'm fifth, and the 100 breast, where I stand fourth.
This week's guest: Barbie Viney.
I was the first All-American in UI women's swimming and diving history. I earned those honors in 1-meter and 3-meter diving in 1982, when I finished seventh and sixth, respectively, in the AIAW national meet.
I was the first Illinois women's swimmer to capture a Big Ten title. In 1975, I won the 50-yard butterfly, and I followed up in 1976 by taking the same event. I also won the 50 fly and 50 free in 1977.