Season not all bad for Iowa women's swimming despite poor Big Tens


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The Iowa women’s swimming and diving team finished its season at the Big Ten meet on the campus of the University of Minnesota last week.

Iowa concluded the year with a 10th-place finish at the Big Tens, following a 7-2 regular season in dual meets. Although it may not have been the exact finish the Hawkeyes were looking for, there is still plenty to be excited about going into next season.

“Overall, I think it went pretty well,” assistant coach Nathan Mundt said. “Obviously, we would like to place higher in the team standings, but I thought there were some very authentic performances.”

Some of those performances include breaking four school records at the Big Tens to go along with another school record set early on in the season.

Freshman Olivia Kabacinski started the record-breaking performances in November 2012, when she swam to a school record in the 50 free, sprinting to the wall in 22.08 seconds.

In the final tournament of the season, the Hawkeyes picked up their final four records. The 200-medley relay record was broken by the team of sophomore Heather Arseth, juniors Karolina Wartalowicz and Abbey Tuchscherer, and Kabacinski. The quartet touched the wall in 1:40.97 for 10th place and a school-best time.

“It was a really cool, once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Arseth said. “Especially being part of the relay and sharing it with three of my teammates was really special.”

In the 800 free, sophomore Becky Stoughton, Kabacinski, and juniors Emily Hovren and Lindsay Seemann swam to the school record in 7:14.99, beating the previous record by nearly four seconds.

A pair of school-record setting performances came from Hovren and Seemann following the relay records. Hovren swam to the wall in the 200 individual medley  in 2:00.42, and Seemann set the mark in the 200 back finishing with a time of 1:59.00.

Despite the record performances set in Minneapolis, Stoughton said, the team has room for improvement.

“It was rough for the most part,” she said. “I personally didn’t compete up to the level I should have, and I know a couple others weren’t completely satisfied with how they performed as well.”

Up next for the Hawkeye swimmers is the NCAA Championships on March 21-23 in Indianapolis. Mundt said Seemann and Stoughton have the possibility of being invited to the competition, depending on how many swimmers get called. It is expected that the top 35 to 40 swimmers in each event will receive the coveted invitations. If Stoughton receives one, she said, she has plenty to work on.

“I definitely need to push myself harder in practices,” SHE said. “I would have to build back up for the next couple weeks with a lot of yardage and intensity.”

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