Women's swimming set for "unique" opportunity in South Bend

BY DI STAFF | JANUARY 27, 2012 7:20 AM

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The Iowa women's swimming team says the Shamrock Invitational in South Bend, Ind., offers a "unique" opportunity. The event, which is scheduled for all-day competition today and Saturday, also features Notre Dame and Ohio State.

Notre Dame enters its home invitational fresh off a dominating 218-82 victory over Michigan State on Jan. 21. The Fighting Irish took first place in all 16 events in the meet.

The No. 14 Buckeyes posted a 164.5-132.5 victory over No. 17 Michigan on Jan. 21. They finished third at the 2011 Big Ten championships, and the Buckeyes are perhaps stronger than they've ever been; 16 school records are held by athletes currently on the team, including six different relay teams that return intact.

This is the first meeting between the Hawkeyes and Buckeyes this season, and Danielle Carty said Ohio State should serve as an effective measuring stick as Iowa moves toward the league championships in February.

"To go head-to-head with Ohio State and be really competitive with their relays, that's going to give us a lot of confidence going into Big Tens," she said. "It also allows us to size up our competition now."

The Shamrock meet is in a championship format — with preliminary heats building up to finals — and features a Big Ten championship lineup including the 400-yard individual medley and 1,650-yard freestyle.

"The 400 IM and the mile are usually not in the typical dual-meet schedule," senior captain Daniela Cubelic said. "[This meet] gives the swimmers who will swim in those events at Big Tens a chance to swim, and that's important."

The two-day format gives the Black and Gold another dose of what it can expect in the Big Ten meet in terms of endurance.

"[The championship] is a more tiring meet than an average dual meet, so practicing that before the championships is really important," Cubelic said.

The team will have to adjust its routine for the meet, she said, and she stressed the importance of keeping up on nutrition, hydration, and sleep throughout the weekend to maintain the energy level necessary to compete.

"Ultimately, this meet is just to cram in as much racing as possible in preparation for Big Tens, and because it's one of our last dual meets, we really are trying to sharpen up," Carty said. "And although it's going to be an exhausting weekend with a lot of racing, there will be a lot of opportunities to work on the little things."

— by Tork Mason

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