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Senior Night caps first four years in Campus Recreation & Wellness Center

BY JORDAN HANSEN AND RYAN RODRIGUEZ | FEBRUARY 07, 2014 5:00 AM

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For the Iowa swimming and diving team, Friday’s meet against Northern Iowa will arguably be their most emotional meet of the season. 

Not only is the dual the Hawkeyes’ final home meet of the year before the daunting stretch of championship season, it is also senior night, where 16 seniors will swim their final home meet as a Hawkeye.

For many, the emotionally charged spirit of the meet will be one of the driving forces behind his as well as the teams compete level at the Family Recreation and Wellness Center.

Nevertheless, the meet will still carry a surreal feel for senior captain Gianni Sesto, whose class was the first one in team history to swim all four years at the Campus Wellness and Recreation Center.

“We were kind of the first class to break into the new pool, so for me to say that my career as a Hawkeye is almost over as a Hawkeye really hasn’t hit me yet.

“I think maybe once they give me the roses and I’m out on the floor it will hit me more,” Sesto said. 

Many members of the women’s squad echoed Sesto’s feelings of excitement.

“It’s the meet that I’ve looked towards, you see seniors graduate every year and it’s crazy to think that it’s finally our classes turn,” senior Abbey Tuchscherer said. “I’m definitely looking forward to it and it will be exciting.”

Tuchscherer was flooded with memories of her first moments as a Hawkeye when recollecting on her Iowa career.

“I just remember being a freshman and being in awe of how awesome this pool was,” Tuchscherer said. “Four years later it’s still a great place to train and compete — it’s just been great.”

However Sesto, Tuchscherer, and the rest of team will have to keep their emotions in check if they are to keep their edge in an unusual sprint-format dual meet.

“It’s a completely different event line up, so it’s definitely going to take some getting used to, but I think it will be fun,” Sesto said. “Especially for the distance guys. I mean, the 500 is the longest race, which is like a sprint to them.”

Head coach Marc Long is hoping his team can keep their emotions in check and keep their sights set on the big picture: Big Ten Championships.

“These seniors especially have a lot of swimming ahead of them,” Long said. “They still have their conference meets and so on to. We want to honor them with this ceremony before the meet, but like I said we still have a lot of great swimming ahead of us.”

And with all the festivities, it might be easy to forget that there is still a competitive meet going on. The Hawkeyes could use a solid last win to propel themselves into the Big Ten meet after falling twice at the Shamrock Invitational last weekend.

“This pool is where we’ve had our ups and downs, where we’ve made our friends and where we’ve learned things about ourselves,” senior Karolina Wartalowicz said. “This group of ladies is just incredible and we’ve made huge strides since the beginning of the year—I’m proud of each and every one of them.”


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