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Freshmen take the pool

BY SHELBY STITES | NOVEMBER 13, 2014 5:00 AM

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The potential surrounding Iowa women’s swimming and diving team has been raved about since before the season started. This potential revolves around the 12 freshmen been added to this season’s Iowa roster.

This group features five athletes from Illinois, three from Iowa, two from Wisconsin, one from Oregon, and one from Texas. But despite their geographical disparity, the freshmen have been able to come together in a way that has the potential to put Iowa swimming back on the map as the team reloads.

“College swimming is by far the most physically demanding thing I have ever done,” freshman Tereysa Lehnertz said.

The freshmen have been able to take the pressure of being the prominent advancement in the Hawkeyes rebuilding process.

“All of them just stood up and raced,” sophomore Emma Sougstad said after the Hawkeyes’ opening meet. “When I was a freshman, I was scared and timid, but they all just stood up there and beat the person next to them.”

Two of those standouts come from the 200 medley relay of Sougstad, Lehnertz, freshman Meghan Lavelle, and junior Olivia Kabacinski. Lehnertz was recently added to the lineup at the Hawkeyes’ most recent meet, against Minnesota Oct. 31.

All four relay events include at least one freshman as a member of the quartet.

Freshman Rowan Hauber was also added to the quartet during the Hawkeyes’ annual Black and Gold intrasquad Meet. But she has the top time recorded in the 100 backstroke.

Three other freshmen have been able to post top times in the Hawkeyes’ lineup so far this season; Lavelle (200 backstroke), Lehnertz (200 butterfly), and freshmen Summer Campbell (100 butterfly).

These times prove to show the strength the freshmen have learned to swim with as the ongoing pressure builds and expectations increase.

 “There is definitely a lot of pressure,” Lehnertz said. “I’ve had to learn to just race my components and not just worry about my times. It’s much more of a team sport rather than an individual one.”

For head coach Marc Long, the freshmen need to continue to go up against some of the top teams in the country in order to maintain strong performance at a competitive level.

“They are fun to watch,” Long said. “When you have eight lanes firing off against high-level competition, you see races that will prepare you for the end of the year.”

And it is not only going to take swims to assemble this redeveloping Hawkeye team. Swimmers said it is going to take support and learning how to stay positive throughout the toughest of swims.

“New freshmen bring a new aspect,” senior captain Becky Stoughton said. “We make sure everyone has each other’s back in order to prepare for the post season.”


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