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Women’s swimming and diving heading to South Bend

BY MITCH SMITH | JANUARY 29, 2010 7:30 AM

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The Shamrock Invitational will be a special meet for Iowa senior Julie Feingold.

In her collegiate swimming career, she’s never had the chance to compete in her home state, Indiana.

Oddly enough, she’ll do that twice before season’s end, beginning this weekend, when the Iowa women’s swimming and diving team faces Notre Dame, Missouri, and Denver in South Bend, Ind.

The Shamrock Invitational will begin at 6 p.m. today and continue Saturday with sessions starting at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Live meet results can be found on the Notre Dame’s Shamrock Invitational website.

Feingold, who took a recruiting trip to Notre Dame in high school, has seven individual first-place finishes and four second-places for the Hawkeyes this season.

And when she takes to the water, she’ll not only be swimming in front of her home-state faithful, she’ll also be swimming against one of her best friends in Notre Dame senior Maggie Behrens.

“It’s really great because a lot of my friends and family are going to be there for this meet,” Feingold said. “[Maggie and I] are just really excited that we’re both seniors and that we’re going to have one of our last dual meets against each other.”

The Hawkeyes will need a strong performance in order to succeed in South Bend.

Missouri boasts the No. 21 swimming team in the country, according to College Swimming Coaches Association of America poll, and Notre Dame has also received votes for the top 25.

“They’re both really strong opponents,” Iowa senior Christine Kuczek said. “We’re going to have to give it our best shot to get some wins out of this.”

The Tigers have beaten Iowa six of the 10 times they’ve faced the Hawkeyes. The Fighting Irish also hold a 2-0 lead in the all-time series against Iowa.

This weekend marks the first time in program history the Hawkeye women will compete against Denver.

“Missouri, Notre Dame, and Denver are all tough teams,” Iowa head swimming coach Marc Long said. “They’ve all had a presence at NCAAs the last couple of years, and all of them are really well-coached.”

The meet is different from a dual meet because it will be formatted like a championship meet, which will allow the squads to swim events that aren’t typically in dual meets, such as the 400 individual medley, 1,650 freestyle, and the 800 free relay.

With the Big Ten championships 20 days away, the similar style of meet also helps the squad get prepared for the conference championships.

“The dual-meet format that we normally do is not the same event order, so you’re tired in different places,” Feingold said. “This will allow us to have a fresh start for each one of our races. I think that will definitely help us mentally prepare for Big Tens.”


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