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AquaHawks finish ninth in Big Ten meet

BY MITCH SMITH | FEBRUARY 22, 2010 7:30 AM

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On paper, it seems like just another ninth-place finish.

But the Iowa women’s swimming and diving team accomplished much more over weekend at the Big Ten championships in West Lafayette, Ind.

Despite finishing in the same spot as last season, the Hawkeyes not only posted better individual races but also all-time best finishes at the four-day event.

Four Hawkeyes combined for six top-20 finishes — junior swimmer Katarina Tour, sophomores Danielle Carty and Daniela Cubelic, and junior diver Veronica Rydze — to score team points for Iowa.

Carty accomplished her goal of qualifying for finals, notching a 12th-place mark in the 100 backstroke and beating her own time for second-best in program history.

“I wanted to score points for the team on an individual basis,” she said. “That really made me proud to be able to do that for the team.”

Tour had the best individual meet of any of the swimmers. The native of Stockholm, Sweden, finished 10th in the 100 breaststroke finals and 15th in the 200 individual medley finals.

“I’m very happy about my performance,” she said. “I didn’t swim any personal best, but I felt good the entire meet and had good races.”

Swimming personal bests are hard to come by for Tour — not because she is struggling in the pool, but because most of her best times are already tops for the program.

Her time of 2:01.51 in the 200 Individual medley prelims and 2:01.88 in the finals rank as the second and third best all-time in school history. She now holds Iowa’s top-three best times in the event.

The same holds true in the 100 breaststroke. Tour finished with the second and third best times in school history last weekend; she already owns the top spot.

Diving also had a positive meet, thanks to Rydze.

The Iowa City native finished eighth in the 1 meter and 12th in the 3 meter. Her score of 281.10 in the 1 meter stands as a personal best and ranks as the eighth-best score in school history.

“I had one of my best performances in a really long time,” she said. “I’m really happy with that.”

Cubelic, however, said she didn’t have her best performance.

Despite swimming the second-best time ever in the 200 backstroke and the sixth-best in the 100 backstroke, the sophomore said she could have done better.

“Other than the 200 backstroke, I was not happy,” she said. “I just tried to piece it together for the relays and give it my best.”

While the team isn’t happy with its low overall finish, Tour said the Hawkeyes are putting the difficult conference meet in proper perspective.

“We’re in probably the hardest conference in the country,” she said. “You have to take one step back and appreciate the team’s achievement. We did really well this weekend, and I’m very proud of my team.”


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