Swimmers dive into season in record-breaking fashion

BY TORK MASON | OCTOBER 10, 2011 7:20 AM

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It was a record-setting weekend for the women's swim team.

Three pool records were set by the Iowa women's swimming and diving team, all by Black team freshman Becky Stoughton. Her efforts weren't enough for her team, though, as the Gold Team took the meet by a 108-91 score.

The Peoria, Ill., native set records in the 1,000, 500, and 200 freestyle and did so in dominating fashion.

In the 1,000 freestyle, she finished nearly a full lap ahead of fellow freshman Hillary Weigland. Her time of 9:59.02 was the fourth-best in school history. She followed that performance in the next race by posting Iowa's ninth-best time ever in the 200 freestyle. Her time of 4:53.42 in the 500 freestyle was also good for fourth-best in school history.

"It's great. It's outstanding," head coach Marc Long said. "It's definitely encouraging and exciting for the future."

Senior captain Daniela Cubelic echoed that.

"Becky's a trouper. She works hard for everything she does," Cubelic said. "Doubling the 1,000 and 200 free back-to-back and setting pool records in both is just incredible."

Stoughton also set the 200 record from lane two, the farthest outside lane in the heat. In swimming, the center lanes are where the faster water is, and the "slow track" is on the outside.

The performance was an unexpected confidence-booster, Stoughton said, but she still has improvements to make with her breathing and turns.

While Stoughton stole the spotlight, she wasn't the only one to provide excitement for those in attendance.

In the 200 medley relay, Black's Danielle Klunk had a near-tie in the water at the start of the freestyle leg and won the race by just 0.32 seconds.

Long said he was pleased with his team's overall performance.

"There was a lot of enthusiasm — youthful enthusiasm — and good upperclassmen leadership," he said. "It's a fun start. Especially having one of the freshmen breaking three pool records right off the bat and swim some of the top performances in Iowa history is encouraging."

Long said the team still must work on its technique while it prepares for the championship season in February and March, but Cubelic said the team's performance was "by far" the best in a Black and Gold meet since she's been on campus.

"It was absolutely amazing. There were some incredible times — people were going faster than they went at this point in the season last year, by far," she said. "I think, collectively, we did outstanding. We're really looking forward to our first meet against Wisconsin."

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