'Hungry' women's swimming buries Spartans

BY TORK MASON | OCTOBER 31, 2011 7:20 AM

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Domination was the theme of the day at the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center on Oct. 29.

The Iowa women's swimming and diving team won 13 of the 14 swimming events and split the 1- and 3-meter diving events with Michigan State on the way to a 184.5-93.5 victory.

The Hawkeyes didn't just win; they buried the Spartans. The team took the top two spots in four different races, the top three in another, and swept the top four spots in the 200 butterfly.

"They're just a hungry bunch right now, this young group," head coach Marc Long said.

Perhaps the hungriest of the bunch was freshman Becky Stoughton, who won the 100 backstroke and set another record in a career that consists of just three meets. Her time of 4:17.90 in the 400 individual medley set the mark.

"At the beginning, I knew I had to take it out fast because I lack a lot in the breaststroke," Stoughton said. "I was trying to hit sub-two minutes in the first 200, and then whatever happens in the breaststroke happens, and then try to bring it back in the freestyle."

She wasn't able to achieve her goal of a sub-two minute 200 in the race, but it didn't matter. She had nearly a 10-second lead entering the third leg of the race and put it away from there, winning the race by slightly more than 15 seconds and shattering the previous school mark by three seconds.

"[Stoughton] does swim that event, but it's not necessarily one of her top events," Long said. "It was great. I think the main thing is that any opportunity she has to race, she always races and gives it her all — no questions asked."

Long said he used the day to mix things up in order to see what his athletes could do in events in which they don't typically compete. He said he was pleased with the results.

Senior captain Danielle Carty said the team was determined to defend its home pool. The overall performance of this year's freshman class has given the team a new energy, she said.

"With our freshman class coming in so strong this year, we have a different kind of atmosphere in the water," she said. "We're just trying to win a lot of races and put out a lot of good racing. This week was a really good stepping stone for [a meet against] Minnesota next week, because they're going to give us a run for our money."

Iowa also was strong in the diving well. Senior All-American Veronica Rydze took first place in 1-meter diving and third place in 3-meter diving to lead the Black and Gold.

Up next for Iowa are the Golden Gophers, who come to Iowa City on Nov. 4 for an evening dual. Long said he expects a strong test from one of the top programs in the Big Ten.

"We need a lot of preparation, and they're outstanding teams — both their men and women — with a long tradition," Long said. "We're just hoping we can hang with them."

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