Redbird Swimming & Diving Braces For Conference Championships
Written by Tim Zalabak on February 8, 2022
NORMAL, Ill.- Caitlin Hamilton leads the Illinois State Swim & Dive team to their third Missouri Valley Conference championship beginning on February 16. Finishing fourth place in the 2020-21 season has brought not only attention to the program but the confidence that is needed to take home the hardware.
From top to bottom, the Redbird lineup is strong. Beginning with a strong freshman class–Ella Glaspie and Sydney Hoff, mid-distance swimmers who look to bring home points for Illinois State.
“I think though they were going to make a pretty big impact when I recruited them. The intention as they come in is to be some of those depth type pieces,” comments Hamilton on her freshman class.
The lineup only thickens as Hamilton has high expectations for her more seasoned athletes. Laura Naeger, Columbia, Missouri native and butterfly specialist has the top time in the MVC.
Another swimmer looking to make an impact for the Redbirds is breaststroker, Madyson Morse. The junior from Pearland, Texas has earned All-MVC First Team in the 100-yard breaststroke.
“This is probably the best team that we’ve had since I’ve taken over and that’s pretty exciting,” said Hamilton.
The long season, spanning both semesters prove to be a grind for the student-athletes. Staying locked in and keeping their eye on the prize is important for the Birds as championship season rapidly approaches.
“This is the time as a coach where I really just get to sit back and enjoy and be the motivator,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton looks to the seniors to provide the experience and maturity to guide the team during the final weeks. Haley Rivera and Julia Oostman, senior mid-distance swimmers will lead the Redbird pack for their final season.
The conference championship will occur February 16-19.