Iowa women's swim takes first


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Sports can be calculated as a game of steps and inches, but as for swimming, it remains the competition of seconds. Seconds set Hawkeye swimmers apart this past weekend from personal best times to school records beaten and NCAA qualifications earned.

The Hawkeye Invitational — which Iowa won by 222.5 points — welcomed the schools of Denver, Washington State, Milwaukee, Iowa State, Nebraska, Northern Iowa, and Ohio State for the three-day event.

Dec. 5 set the tone for what became a record-breaking weekend for the Hawkeyes. The quartet of junior Olivia Kabacinski, sophomore Emma Sougstad, and freshmen Meghan Lavelle and Mekenna Scheitlin opened up the first final session by beating the 200-freestyle relay record set in 2012 with a time of 1:31.3.

“Olivia was a big contributor in that fourth spot,” head coach Marc Long said. “Still trying to find the right relay for February, but there is still a lot of racing to go.”

Senior captain Becky Stoughton also started her momentum for the weekend on the first night by swimming a season-best time of 4:47.4 in the 500 freestyle.

Senior divers showed off on the towers with Joelle Christy leading the Hawkeye divers on the 1-meter with a score of 283.4.

At the end of the first day, the Hawkeye women landed 18 points behind Denver.

The next day consisted of senior recognitions and memorable races that will go down in Hawkeye history.

Stoughton took second place in the 400 individual-medley finals on Dec. 6. Her time of 4:20.58 gave her a second qualification race for the NCAA B cut on the weekend.

Stoughton claimed second in her favorite race of the night. The 800-free relay included Kabacinski, sophomore Serena Wanasek, and freshman Nikol Lagodzinska.

“I love being on the relay, and my girls did so good,” Stoughton said. “We just came out and went for it by taking it out as hard as we could; it’s just fun to be a part of.”

Freshman Summer Campbell found her way into competition by placing fifth in the 100 fly with a time of (55.82). Her 200-medley relay also claimed second place by swimming the seventh-fastest time in school history (1:40.99).

Freshman Rowan Hauber made a memorable appearance as she finished by placing third in the 200 backstroke, touching with a time of 1:59.68.

Kabacinski finished her standout meet by breaking her own school record in the 100 freestyle in a NCAA B cut time of 49.61.

The Hawkeyes finished with a final score of 1,015.5. Denver took second with 793, and Washington State was third at 628.5.

“They had an outstanding meet,” Long said. “It was a massive team effort over three days, and I am really proud of the way they stepped up and raced.”

Follow @shelbystites on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa women’s swimming and diving team.

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