Sycamore fall to Fighting Illini in 2022-23 season opener

CHAMPAIGN-URBANA, Ill. –Indiana State opened the 2022-23 season on the road as the Sycamores fell to host Illinois on Saturday afternoon at the ARC Pool, 165-135.

The Sycamores won seven events in their first meeting of the season with the ISU which swept the diving and backstroke events on Saturday. ISU also had home victories in the 200 medley relay, 400 freestyle relay and 100 freestyle in loss.

“Today was a solid first official meeting,” the head coach said. Josh Christensen said. “We definitely had some big highlights on the day. Winning both stints on the road against a Big Ten school is a great performance. The divers were great and really showed the progress we’ve made there. It was a very competitive encounter all throughout the competition and I’m proud of the energy we brought throughout the competition.”

The Sycamores opened Saturday’s game with their first victory of the 2022-23 season as a foursome of Carmen Alard Vegas, Kaimi Matsumoto, Marni Grayand Chloe Farro topped the field with a time of 1:45.64.

ISU would add a top-three spot in the 1000m freestyle with Esther Rydbeck Norden making his ISU debut en route to finishing third with a time of 10:40.12.

Alard Vegas will pick up its second victory of the day by hitting the field in the 100-yard backstroke event with a time of 57.24. Madie Rutan gathered his first top three of the season in the event with a time of 57.74.

Alexa Szadorsky (3rd, 100 breaststroke – 1:06.57), Alexandria Cotter (2nd, 200 fly – 2:06.66), Gray (3rd, 200 fly – 2:07.37), Farro (2nd, 50 free – 24.10) and Kalli Agapios (3rd, 50 free – 24.43) added the top three spots just before the first break of the day.

Zoe Smith (263.25) and Bailey Betzer (251.33) went 1-2 in the women’s 3M diving event to add to the Sycamores’ titles that day.

Coming out of the break, Farro put the Sycamores back on the podium by finishing first in the field in the 100 freestyle with a time of 52.40. Rutan followed with a victory in the 200 backstroke hitting the wall in 2:03.87.

Andrea Putrimas added his first top-three result of the 2022-23 season in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:09.04. Gray (2nd, 56.69) and Cotter (3rd, 57.40) finished in the top three in the 100 butterfly, while Cotter added his third result of the day in the 200 IM with a time of 2:05.95 .

Smith and Betzer followed with a 1-2 finish in the 1M dive event with Smith leading the pack after his 256.43, while Betzer took second at 242.70.

The ISU capped off the day with a win in the 400m freestyle relay with Farro’s team, Matsumoto, Peyton Heagyand Szadorski hit the wall in 3:29.54

Saturday’s result left Christensen proud of the fight on his team as they look ahead to the rest of the 2022-23 schedule.

“There are definitely places where we need to be better that could have tipped the final score in our favor,” Christensen said. “We leave really proud of the way we fought and represented our program, but we are hungry to get back to work and keep improving.”
Top ISU artists in each event

200-yard medley relay: first place – Carmen Alard Vegas, Kaimi Matsumoto, Marni Gray, Chloe Farro (1:45.64)
1,000 free yards: third place – Esther Rydback Norden (10:40.12)
200 free yards: Sixth place – Andrea Putrimas (1:56.18)
100 yards back: first place – Carmen Alard Vegas (57.24)
100-yard chest: third place – Alexa Szadorsky (1:06.57)
200-yard fly: Second place – Alexandria Cotter (2:06.66)
50 free yards: Second place – Chloe Farro (24.10)
Diving 1M: First place – Zoe Smith (263.25)
100 free yards: First place – Chloe Farro (52.40)
200 yards back: first place – Madie Rutan (2:03.87)
200-yard chest: Fourth place – Dorotea Bukvic (2:24.64)
500 free yards: Third place – Andrea Putrimas (5:09.04)
100-yard fly: Second place – Marni Gray (56.69)
3M Diving: First Place – Zoe Smith (256.43)
200 yards IM: Third place – Alexandria Cotter (2:05.95)
400-yard freestyle relay: First place – Chloe Farro, Kaimi Matsumoto, Peyton Heagy, Alexa Szadorsky (3:29.54)


Indiana State continues the 2022-23 season on the road at an MVC Quad-Meet hosted by Illinois Chicago at the Flames Natatorium on October 21-22. The meet is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. ET on Friday night, while Saturday’s events are scheduled to begin at noon.

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For the latest Sycamore swimming and diving information, visit You can also find the team on social networks, in particular Twitter, Facebook, instagram and Youtube. Fans can also receive updates on Sycamore Athletics by downloading the March On app from both App store and the Google Play Store.

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