Women's swimming and diving is well rested for Hawkeye Invitational


SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

The women's swimming and diving team hasn't competed in a month, but the Hawkeyes look at the absence from competition as an opportunity.

Today is the start of the Hawkeye Invitational, which will continue through Dec. 5 at the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center.

The Hawkeyes will host eight teams, including Denver, Illinois, Northern Iowa, South Dakota State, Green Bay, and Milwaukee. Notre Dame and Ohio State will also be in attendance, but they will only compete in the diving. An estimated 400 athletes will swim or dive over the course of the three days.

"We took [the month break] as a opportunity to really push through to a new level of training," associate head coach Frannie Malone said. "It was just an opportunity for us to really come down and hit the kids hard as far as what we're doing in the water.

"We had a break from competing, and we were able to really focus on what we need to improve."

Although the Hawkeyes don't see the time off as hurting their performance this weekend, the team is coming off a loss as well. The Gophers beat the Hawkeyes, 180-114, at Minnesota in their last dual competition.

Malone said the extra practice time has allowed the Hawkeyes to re-evaluate some of their techniques.

"[The time off] won't be a problem for this meet," head coach Marc Long said. "There are some great teams coming in, but were at home. And we wanted that month layoff for training. We will be ready to go."

Last season, Iowa won the Hawkeye Invitational, but the meet included only three other teams. This year will be a challenge for the Hawkeyes. Long said the field of competition is strong, and he is excited to see how his group will do.

This will be Iowa's first event with numerous teams this season. The preliminary rounds of certain events will begin in the mornings, and each event will consist of a few heats.

While some coaches are particular about the placement of their swimmers in each heat, Long said that's not a major concern of his.

"We don't get too worked up about that here," he said. "The way we look at it is, you have a lane and you can race in it, so take care of it."

He does recognize, however, that swimming against competitors with similar times can be beneficial.

The top swimmers in each event will move on to the finals that start at 4 p.m. each night.

"It's quite a bit different because it is a Big Ten championship format, which is what we use in February and March," Long said. "Dual meets are more head-to-head competition. This meet is certainly competitive, but it's spread out over three days."

For the Hawkeyes to be successful in this type of competition they have to come out strong in the morning.

"We can't underestimate anyone," Malone said. "We have to get the job done in the morning because only the top 16 are coming back to score, so there is some strategy in where you're placing people. But the point is to get back at night and race hard."

> Share your thoughts! Click here to write a Letter to the Editor.

comments powered by Disqus

Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.