Swimming and Diving
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.
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.
I own the school record in the 100-meter breaststroke and am third on the 200 breast list behind Ilkay Dikmen and Anna Christiansen. Both of my best times came in February 1999, shortly before I reached the NCAA meet in both events.
I am one of four Illini men's swimmers to win a Big Ten title in the 100-yard breaststroke. Mine came in 1986, when I gave Illinois its fifth conference title overall in the event. My clocking in that race – 56.13 seconds – set a school record that stood until Illinois dropped swimming as a varsity sport in 1993.
In 1997, I reached the NCAA women's swimming meet in three events. I was 30th in the 400-yard individual medley, 37th in the 500 free and did not place in the 200 fly. My name remains on several top 10 UI lists, with my best spot being second on the all-time 200 fly list behind Natasha Messmer.
I own school records in the 50- and 100-yard backstroke events in women's swimming, but I achieved even greater success in relay events. My name is part of four relays that hold school records. I'm now an assistant coach at an area high school.