Swimming and Diving

Swimming and Diving

Who's that Illini?

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.

Tony Bleill's Illini Q&A

This week's guest: Barbie Viney.

Who's that Illini?

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.

Who's that Illini?

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.

Who's that Illini?

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.

Who's that Illini?

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.

Who's that Illini?

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.

Who's that Illini?

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.

Who's that Illini?

I excelled at swimming's longest events, twice winning Big Ten titles in the 1,650-yard freestyle (in 1985 and '87) and once in the 500 free (in 1983). I was an All-Big Ten pick from 1985 through '87. A native of Australia, I helped my homeland win a gold medal in the 800-meter relay at the 1982 Commonwealth Games. I am an inductee in Australia's Northern Territory Hall of Champions.

Who's that Illini?

I was a two-time All-America swimmer, finishing sixth in the 200 backstroke at the NCAA meet in 2000 and 2001. I also qualified for nationals both years in the 200 freestyle. My school record in the 200 back is more than four seconds better than the No. 2 spot, held by Alison Czmarko.