Women swimmers take third at Hawkeye Invitational


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The Hawkeye women's swimming and diving team could not overcome the depth of competition they swam against this past weekend and wound up third of eight teams in the Hawkeye Invitational in the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center.

Though many fans came out to support the Hawkeyes for the three-day event that began the morning of Dec. 3 and continued through Sunday evening, Iowa was no match for Denver's tough competition.

The Hawkeyes held a solid lead over Illinois after Dec. 4, but with just two events left in the competition on Sunday, the Illini jumped into second place and held off Iowa in the 400-freestyle relay.

"[The] last relay we just lost against Illinois, and it hurts a lot mentally right now," Katarina Tour said. "But we had a good meet no doubt."

Iowa had many strong performances despite not being able to hang on to second-place.

Tour and freshman Haley Gordon both set pool records. Tour set a pool record and meet record in the 100 breaststroke, and her finish at 1:02.53 is a NCAA "B" qualifying time. In addition to her record, Tour won the 100 butterfly with a time of 55.40.

Gordon set a meet record and pool record in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:23.74 in the preliminary round. In the finals, she improved to reach a time of 4:22.04 for the win.

Gordon also took first the previous day in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:03.05 — a personal best.

Other standout performances by the Hawkeyes were senior Deidre Freeman's first-place finishes in the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events. She recorded college-best scores in both events.

Junior Daniela Cubelic won the 200 backstroke posting a time of 1:59.70. Her swim was less than a second away from the NCAA "B" standard qualifying time.

Head coach Marc Long said he expected the team would do well in the start of the competition. He was also pleased with many wins and many top-three finishes from his swimmers — but as a small team, he knew the Hawkeyes didn't have the depth to put Illinois away.

"For some of these young people, it is the first time they swam in these events," Long said. "That is a big step just to get into an environment like this where times are so much faster than typical high-school meets. So that's a good mental barrier for them to have to break."

Nearly half of Iowa's team is made up of freshmen, and Long recognizes that the depth will come in time. He also said the Hawkeyes were not able to compete at full strength because of some injuries.

It was a bittersweet weekend for the Iowa. While the team recorded some impressive records and many personal best swims, they couldn't close out the competition in second place.

"Now, after the meet, I keep thinking about what we could have done," Tour said. "But you can't think like that. They beat us. They were faster. They got more points. We just have to use this to beat them next time."

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