Iowa sends two women’s swimmers to NCAA’s


With the end of the year here for Iowa’s women’s swimming and diving team, Becky Stoughton and Emma Sougstad will be the only swimmers representing Iowa this year at NCAA’s.

Stoughton will be competing in the 200, 500, and 1,650-yard freestyle events while Sougstad will be competing in the 100 breaststroke.

“Going into it is going to be a lot of fun,” Stoughton said. “My freshman year I didn’t do it the right way but it’s great to have Emma there and just have a team.”

This is going to be Stoughton’s first appearance at NCAA’s since here freshman year. Stoughton was plagued with injuries her sophomore and junior years, which severally handicapped her chances to go back to nationals.

Sougstad, just a sophomore, will be making first appearance in the NCAA’s after narrowly missing the cut the year before.

“I missed it last year by .2 of a point,” Sougstad said.  “I’m just so excited to go this year and I get to go with one of my best friends and I’ve learned a lot from her this year and I can’t wait to end it off with a bang.”

With this year being Stoughton’s last year as a Hawkeye and Sougstad’s first year going to the NCAA’s, it wasn’t a surprise that Marc Long expressed how proud of Stoughton and Sougstad that he is.

“Two individual qualifiers are great for our program,” Long said. “Becky went her freshman year but dealt with some injuries her sophomore ad junior year and now she came back and has more than one NCAA appearance and to have Emma there, it’s a great story. “

With Stoughton coming full circle in her college career, it sets the stage for a chance to end an occasionally frustrating college career on a high note.

This comes at the same time that Sougstad is just beginning to come into her own and Long also feels that the their NCAA appearances also set an example for the rest of the team for the future.

“It helps break the ice and it is the world fastest swimming meet so it’s competitive to get there,” Long said.  “To have two Midwest kids and to have a hug time drops in college here does give a sense of reality to their teammates and it does show that it can be done here.”

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

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