The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Swimmers splash down in Evanston

The Daily Iowan
A member of the Iowa 800 freestyle relay races down the pool during the first day of the Big 10 Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Iowa finished seventh in the race with a time of 6:29.57.


The Iowa men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will head to Evanston, Illinois, on Saturday for a showdown against Northwestern, with the men trying to shake off some rust and the women hoping to build on recent success.

The women’s team is coming off a victory over Illinois, 174.5-125.5, on Jan. 16, and the men’s squad will be back in the competitive pool for the first time since Dec. 6, 2015.

Head coach Marc Long’s men’s team will try to avoid its third-straight Big Ten loss, dating back to October and November.

“This is a tough meet,” Long said. “This will be Northwestern’s senior meet. Last time we were in Evanston, we lost the meet on the men’s side, but we won it here last year. The women got beat last year, and they have a really good team with some really good top-end talent, and we respect them a lot. We have a fight on our hands coming up this weekend.”

The Iowa women have shot up to No. 36 in the most recent poll following wins in their last three competitions in the Hawkeye Invitational and versus Iowa State and Illinois.

The ranking is a tribute to the success the women have had in the pool, but Long said there is still work to do before championship season comes knocking.

There is tweaking that needs to be done before the women start reading their press clippings, in other words.

“The women got the win last weekend, but I thought we were a little sluggish,” Long said. “We pulled out the win, but we’ll need to be a lot sharper this weekend to be in the ball game.”

A training trip to Sarasota, Florida, over break has the men’s squad itching to get back in the pool with some fresh faces in the lanes next to them.

A win against Northwestern would put the Iowa men at 2-2 in conference. It would also help the Hawkeyes gain some much-needed momentum, with the Big Ten Championships a month away.

RELATED: Swimming picks up pair of wins

“This meet is very important,” senior Andrew Parker said. “Just getting that confidence in what you’re doing, especially for people who swim longer events. Now it’s about fine-tuning things you struggled with in the first couple competitions.”

Long said this weekend will be a challenge for his teams. With the men being away from competition for such a long time, it becomes hard to simulate that competition after a while.

That, on top of the student-athletes missing class on Friday to travel to Evanston, adds up to a tricky road trip.

“It’s going to be tough with the first week of classes,” Long said. “We’ve got a bunch of serious students on this team, so that’s an impact. We’ll be missing class on Friday to get there. So all of those things will be an impact and make it a tough meet for us. They will be ready to go, but we’re really going to need to focus and be ready to go.”

With the long break between semesters dedicated to training and getting their bodies ready for championship season, the Hawkeye swimmers are ready to test themselves against a tough Big Ten opponent.

More to Discover