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Women's swimming and diving competes over break

BY SHELBY STITES | JANUARY 20, 2015 5:00 AM

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Competition is used to determine wins and loses, rankings and power; for the Hawkeyes, the competition that occurred during break allowed them to push to do better and start competing among themselves, as head coach Marc Long looks for improvements.

“I’d like to see improvement in all areas, especially in relays in order to reach this team’s full potential,” Long said. “They’re a hard-working and competitive bunch, and I have confidence in their future.”

Despite Long’s concerns about the relays, the Hawkeyes traveled to the St. Petersburg Invitational in Florida on Jan. 3, and won all nine relays as the team took an early lead and never looked back.

New faces were able to enter the pool for the Hawkeyes while they were in the Sunshine State. The newcomers swam to first-place finishes while developing an edge.

“The new freshmen on our team bring a new aspect to our training,” senior captain Becky Stoughton said.

As the new swimmers remain eager to find their place in the Hawkeye lineup, Hawkeye vets took control as they prepare for the season.

Their impressive times gave Iowa a No. 21 ranking, one of six Big Ten schools in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America Division I rankings, joining Michigan (No. 9), Minnesota (11), Indiana (14), Penn State (17), and Wisconsin (24).

As students started arriving back on campus on Jan. 17, the Hawkeyes traveled to Illinois. They won six of the 19 events held while breaking three of Fighting Illini’s pool records.

Sophomore Taylor Flummerfelt kept the Hawkeyes in the lead after a back-and-forth battle.

Iowa divers placed with a one-two-three finish on the 1- and 3-meter dives. Joelle Christy (316.5) earned first place on the 1-meter and Lauren Kelba (332.17) on the 3-meter.

“All our divers preformed at a peak level and really showed up ready to go,” Hawkeye diving coach Todd Waikel said in a release. “We’ve got a lot to look forward to, and the girls are only getting better.”

The Hawkeyes have a 4-2 dual record after the win over Illinois. Seven swimmers have also swum for a combined 16 NCAA B cut times with two being nationally ranked.

As preseason intentions continue to be surpassed and expectations continue to rise, the Hawks hope to put the Black and Gold into the NCAA championship pool.

“Each person is working as hard as she can day in and day out in order to achieve a higher goal: to fight for the highest place for the most number of points possible” sophomore Emma Sougstad said.

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


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