Hawkeyes are overpowered by Northwestern’s depth


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The 200-medley relay event kicked off the matchup between Iowa’s women’s swimming and diving team and Northwestern on Jan. 22 in the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center. Because all of Northwestern’s relay teams were disqualified, the Hawkeyes took the top two spots.

Iowa was the first to put points on the board, but that was the only time the Hawkeyes led.

“We knew it was going to be a challenge having them come in,” head coach Marc Long said. “And overall, we have a lot of work to do here before Big Tens.”

Iowa was dominated, 191.5-104.5, by the Wildcats’ depth in the Jan. 22 dual meet. In an impressive fashion, the Wildcats won all but three events and swept a few as well.

“There were some bright spots, but there was some tough racing today,” associate head coach Frannie Malone said. “We could be a little sharper coming off the training camp and last weekend, but this was a nice prep.

“I think it was a good eye opener for what we have to do next weekend.”

The quartet of junior Daniela Cubelic, freshmen Karolina Wartalowicz and Aiste Dobrovolskaite, and senior Katarina Tour won 200-medley relay with a time of 1:45.40.

The only other victories for the Hawkeyes were Cubelic’s first-place finish in the 100 backstroke (56.86) and senior Veronica Rydze’s first-place finish in the 3-meter dive (319.80).

“I think that once championship season comes and the Notre Dame Invitational next weekend, some people are going to swim a little bit faster there,” Cubelic said. “So we are definitely expecting better swims as the season progresses, but we did well today.”

The loss exposed major problems in Iowa’s depth, and with some strong swimmers out with injuries, that has become more troublesome.

“It’s always hard on the mentality of the team,” Malone said. “But it isn’t something that you can use as an excuse. You have to come back and find ways for the B, C swimmers to step up in those events.”

Junior Danielle Carty, junior Sophie Borchers, and senior Kelsie Neubauer did not swim in the competition because of various injuries.

With so many swimmers out of the lineup, the team has been struggling to fill events, but Long said that will soon change.

“We are missing one of our key swimmers,” Malone said. “[Carty] is not only a star in her events, but she lets us mix up more parts of our lineup that we aren’t able to do as much without her, and that’s hard.”

Despite the recent setbacks, the future looks bright for the Hawkeyes as they move into the championship part of the season. The structure of the larger meets calls more on the individual than the depth of the team.

“The championship meet is very individually based, so the top athletes are going to be scoring,” Long said. “Sixteen of about the 70 people in an event count, so if you have kids who can get in there, it eliminates some of that depth.”

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