Iowa's swimming teams dominate Western Illinois


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The Iowa’s men and women’s swimming and diving teams enjoyed wins over Western Illinois to conclude their regular season on Feb. 8 in the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center. The men topped the Leathernecks, 128-80, and the women, 137-60.

The women dominated all 12 events, and the men took the Ws in all but one. The dual meet gave opportunity to some of the younger swimmers who normally don’t swim in point-earning races for the team.

“It really was an important meet for us,” Iowa head swimming coach Marc Long said. “We mixed things up, put people in events that we needed to see heading into Big Tens.”

Seniors of the team had the opportunity to swim races that are normally unfamiliar to them. All-American Jordan Huff and Byron Butler both tried their hands in the 50 backstroke. Butler took first, followed by Huff.

“I think we saw some really great racing, especially in the freestyle group,” Huff said. “Probably just because that’s the group I’m in. That’s the one I was watching the most. I think the freshmen and sophomores in that group really stepped up and raced — just all-around, I saw a lot of great performances tonight.”

Many freshmen got on the board with wins in their events. Tyler Nichols took the 100 IM, Charles Holliday in the 50 free, Seth Lane in the 100 free, Michael Ubert in the 500 free, and Mike Nelson in the 50 breast.

As for the women, Iowa touched first in all events, which included six 1-2-3 finishes. It was a different scene than usual — the women received contributions from everyone, and eight different women placed first.

Sophomore Elaine Boosalis won the 200 free, followed by Olivia Kabacinski taking the 100 IM and Abbey Tuchscherer the 50 free. Victories continued to pile up; junior Lauren Drennan won the 50 fly, Emily Hovren the 100 free, and freshman Maddie Bro touched the wall first in the 50 backstroke. The Hawkeyes also added victories in the 500 freestyle and 50 breaststroke from Jennifer Weigand and Karolina Wartalowicz, respectively.

The women also excelled in the relay, claiming a victory in the 400 medley. The team of sophomore Audrey Kumm, freshman Colleen Champa, Drennan, and sophomore Dani Klunk won the race.

Now that the regular season is over, it is time for both teams to focus on preparing for the championship portion of the season. The women will have a week and a half to get ready for Big Tens and improve.

“It’s not time to tune up the fine things, over-strokes, our starts and turns, and just make sure we are eating right, taking care of ourselves and getting plenty of rest,” Kabacinski said.

Not only did both teams dominate in the swimming portion of the event, the Hawkeyes also took first in diving. Junior Abby Grilli took home first place in the 3 meter (326.25), and junior Lauren Kelba lead the way in the 1 meter , posting a score of 291.67.

Freshman Addison Boschult placed first in the 1-meter springboard at 314.78. Boschult also got practice on the tower during an exhibition event.

Head diving coach Todd Waikel was impressed with Boschult’s performance considering he wasn’t able to warm up prior to the event.

“I was very pleased; I think he did a great job,” Waikel said. “We came in this morning and did the tower, and he did tower in the warm-up before our meet. I was happy with what he did given the fact that he really didn’t spend much time on it today.”

The women will return to action Feb. 20-23 for the Big Ten meet in Minneapolis, and the men won’t see action until the Big Tens on Feb. 27-March 3 in Bloomington, Ind.

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