Swimming and Diving
I was the 1962 NCAA swimming champion in the 220-yard freestyle, helping Illinois tie for 10th in the team standings. My time of 2 minutes, 0.9 seconds was the second-fastest winning clocking in the event in NCAA Championships history. It remains that way, since the NCAA converted the event the following year to 200 yards. I also was an All-American in 1961, and I was selected team MVP from 1961 to ''63.
I was a four-time Big Ten champion in men''s swimming, earning the most league titles in that sport in Illini history. My crowns came in 1968 and ''69 as I swept the 100- and 200-yard breaststrokes. I also was a two-time All-American: in the 100 breaststroke in 1967 and in the 200 breaststroke in ''68. I arrived at Illinois as an IHSA state champion, winning the 100 breaststroke in 1965 for Champaign High.
In 1987, I established the Illinois school record in the 50 free with a time of 23.76 seconds. I''ve seen been passed many times, so my time is now seventh-best. But I was part of a 200 free relay that also earned a spot on the school''s top 10 all-time list, and as a group we placed 28th at the 1987 NCAA meet.
In 1988, I became the second Illini diver to earn All-American honors, following Robin Duffy in 1982. I placed seventh at the NCAA meet in 3-meter diving, while my teammate, Ann-Marie Beavis, didn''t finish because of an injury.
I''m one of seven Illinois women to earn All-American honors in swimming or diving. In 2001, I earned honorable mention honors in the 400 individual medley, an event in which I was 14th at the NCAA meet. It was the third time I swam that event at nationals, and I also excelled in the 200 IM and the 200 breaststroke.
I competed for the Illinois swim team in 1995 and ''96, making a major mark with academic accomplishments. In 1996, I won the George Huff award, was named Academic All-Big Ten and was a first-team at-large selection to the presitigious GTE CoSIDE team, the only woman in UI swimming history to earn the distinction.
I excelled in a sport that''s no longer offered at Illinois: men''s swimming. In 1934, I won the first of two NCAA titles in the 50-yard freestyle, tying a meet record by finishing in 23.8 seconds. The next year, I broke the record with a 23.0 clocking. That mark stood until 1943. I wone three NCAA titles in all, including the 100-yard freestyle in 1935. I also captured five Big Ten crowns. In 1934, I was the league''s best in the 50, 100 and 220 freestyles. One year later, I successfully defended my conference titles in the 50 and 100 freestyles.
In 1982, I was the first Illini swimmer to earn All-America honors. I held the 3-meter diving school record for six dives until Lisa Fish broke it in 2003. I also had the 1-meter school record for 10 dives until 1989, when Sabine Taaffe passed me. My best postseason finish came in 1980, when I placed 18th in 1-meter at the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women national meet.
BISMARCK – Marissa Clapp deserves a hand. Not many athletes from Class A schools without swimming pools are able to earn scholarships in the sport to a Division I university.
Clapp, a co-valedictorian at Bismarck-Henning, used her right hand to sign a letter of intent Thursday, making official what she indicated earlier: She will attend her parents'' alma mater and swim for Illinois.
Illinois'' Barbie Viney, Kirsten Koepcke, Kellie Stevens and Amy Downing clocked 7 minutes, 20.97 seconds to finish seventh in the 800-yard freestyle relay on the first day of the Big Ten Women''s Swimming and Diving Championships.