Swimmers confident in competitive ability

during+the+Senior+Day+meet+between+Iowa+and+Minnesota+at+the+Campus+Recreation+and+Wellness+Center+on+Friday%2C+Oct.+27%2C+2017.+The+Iowa+men%27s+swimming+team+beat+the+21st+ranked+Minnesota+Golden+Gophers+168-132.+%28Ben+Smith%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
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Swimmers confident in competitive ability

during the Senior Day meet between Iowa and Minnesota at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. The Iowa men's swimming team beat the 21st ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers 168-132. (Ben Smith/The Daily Iowan)

during the Senior Day meet between Iowa and Minnesota at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. The Iowa men's swimming team beat the 21st ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers 168-132. (Ben Smith/The Daily Iowan)

The Daily Iowan; Photo by Ben Sm

during the Senior Day meet between Iowa and Minnesota at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. The Iowa men's swimming team beat the 21st ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers 168-132. (Ben Smith/The Daily Iowan)

The Daily Iowan; Photo by Ben Sm

The Daily Iowan; Photo by Ben Sm

during the Senior Day meet between Iowa and Minnesota at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. The Iowa men's swimming team beat the 21st ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers 168-132. (Ben Smith/The Daily Iowan)

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The Iowa swimming and diving teams competed against two ranked Notre Dame squads on Jan. 12-13, in a meet that, despite losses, proved that the swimmers are where they need to be at this point in the season.

The men’s team lost to No. 20 Notre Dame, 187-113, while the women lost to their 22nd-ranked counterpart, 217-80. The Iowa women’s team also came out of the weekend with a victory against Illinois, 198-102.

Although both Hawkeye teams lost to the Fighting Irish, there were a lot of positive takeaways from the meet.

“We knew that Notre Dame had some strong teams here,” head coach Marc Long said. “When you look at it as a whole, of course we’d like to get the win and we didn’t, but individually when we break it down there are some great performances.”

The work the swimmers put in over the break in competition proved to be helpful during the meet.

“Notre Dame is a good team, they have a lot of depth, and I thought our sprint team really showed up today and looked really strong,” Joe Myhre said. “We were all pretty broken down and rested up for this meet, but I think we did really well.”

RELATED: Swimmers, divers perform strong to begin 2018

One highlight on the men’s side of racing was the 400-free relay, in which the quartet of Will Scott, Myhre, Matt Kamin, Jack Smith out-touched Notre Dame in the last stretch of the race. Smith finished out the relay with a time of 2:57.99, more than 1 second ahead of the Fighting Irish (2:59.07).

“We want to be winning Big Tens in that event, and we know that if we can out touch Notre Dame at the end, then we have a good shot at it,” Myhre said. “We just wanted to end it with a bang.”

This meet was the teams’ first meet of 2018, following a week-long training trip to Florida.

“It was good to start racing again -— we haven’t had a meet since Iowa State — so to get back in and race Illinois and Notre Dame was really good for us I think,” Carly O’Brien said. “We’ve been training really hard the past month, so it was kind of a switch up to get back into racing mode, but I think it was good.”

Iowa’s next meet will be on Jan. 20 in a matchup at Northwestern. Jan. 16-27, the Hawkeyes will face the Fighting Irish again at the Shamrock Invitational — which will also host Big Ten opponents.

Iowa’s last home meet is on Feb. 2, in a non conference matchup against Western Illinois, before the teams travel for the Big Ten championships.

While the teams still have a lot to work on, compared with past years’ teams, the Hawkeyes are in a good place.

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