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Women’s swimming looks to win last pre-championship dual

BY MAGGIE CUNNINGHAM | JANUARY 21, 2011 7:10 AM

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With the championship season just around the corner, the Iowa women’s swimming and diving team wants a big win against Northwestern on Saturday in its last conference dual meet.

The competition will kick off with the 200 medley relay at 11 a.m. in the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center’s Natatorium.

“We’ll see Northwestern again at the Big Tens, so this is a chance to race some really good competition and get us prepared for our conference meet,” sophomore April Allen said.

The team expects its recent training trip to Sarasota, Fla., will give it an edge against Northwestern.
Iowa had an impressive finish on its training trip, taking first out of four teams at the Tampa relays.

The Hawkeyes won nine of the 10 relay events they participated in at the competition. Senior Katarina Tour contributed to a team-high five wins, and junior Daniela Cubelic recorded four wins in various relays.

“The training trip helps us every year by getting us in the peak physical condition,” senior Caitie Polz said. “For this meet, the training trip helps us build endurance to continue to swim fast throughout the meet, even after we have already swum a couple events.”

The Hawkeyes are coming off a tough loss to Illinois on the road, but they are ready to collect the benefits of the stringent training in Florida.

“I definitely think returning home from the training trip fewer than two days before [Illinois] hurt us pretty badly,” Cubelic said. “We were all exhausted from everything, and while that really isn’t an excuse, it definitely had an impact on our performance.”

Iowa’s second-place finishes in some crucial events allowed the Fighting Illini to win, 174-126.

“We’ve had a week since our training trip, and with that form of intense training behind us, we’re now ready to focus on getting race ready,” Allen said.

Though Northwestern has yet to experience a conference victory this season, the Hawkeyes do not consider the Wildcats a weaker opponent. A win would give Iowa more confidence as it continues through the season.

“They have outstanding depth to their team, which makes them much stronger in dual meets than in championships meets,” Cubelic said. “But considering all the strong teams in the Big Ten, Northwestern is definitely a team we have our sights on.”

This point in the long season is especially challenging for the Hawkeyes, who are resuming classes and heading into the championship season, and it is important for them to stay focused.

“Our team just needs to take one race at a time and keep our momentum going throughout the meet,” Polz said. “We need to be excited and ready to race fast.”


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