By the numbers: Iowa swimming and diving begins new season

Hawkeye swimming and diving will compete in East Lansing and at home this weekend to kick off its season.

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By the numbers: Iowa swimming and diving begins new season

Iowa's Will Scott stretches before the men's 50-meter freestyle during the Senior Day meet between Iowa and Minnesota at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017.

Iowa's Will Scott stretches before the men's 50-meter freestyle during the Senior Day meet between Iowa and Minnesota at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017.

Ben Allan Smith

Iowa's Will Scott stretches before the men's 50-meter freestyle during the Senior Day meet between Iowa and Minnesota at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017.

Ben Allan Smith

Ben Allan Smith

Iowa's Will Scott stretches before the men's 50-meter freestyle during the Senior Day meet between Iowa and Minnesota at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017.

Tanner DesPlanque, Sports Reporter

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The Iowa swimming and diving teams will start their seasons today in East Lansing against Michigan State before returning to the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center for the annual Intrasquad meet on Saturday.

Both the men’s and women’s squads hope to see what their returning swimmers can show them tonight. Both teams also have some newcomers this season and cannot wait to see them.

Here is a look at the Hawkeyes’ men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams by the numbers.

41 — Returning letter winners

Both teams have many returning letter winners; the Hawkeye men alone have 22. Among those, the Hawkeyes have four NCAA qualifiers returning: Matt Kamin, Joe Myhre, Will Scott, and Jack Smith. Another key returner for the men’s team is sophomore Daniel Swanepoel, who sits third in Iowa’s record books with a time of 53.74 in the 100-meter breaststroke.

Though the season hasn’t started yet, Swanepoel has been impressed with how the squad looks.

“We’re looking pretty good as a team this year,” he said. “We got some great guys in as freshmen, and we kept a lot of key people like our strong freestylers, backstrokers, and breaststrokers. It should be interesting to see how we all perform.”

The Iowa women bring back 19 letter winners this season.  The women’s team has two NCAA qualifiers in junior Hannah Burvill, who has qualified for the NCAA Championships the past two years, and diver Thelma Strandberg, who placed at NCAAs last year. Sophomore Kelsey Drake also ranks among the school records in three events and has the second-best time in the 100-meter fly.

RELATED: The University of Iowa mens’ swimming fifth in Big Tens  

13 — Newcomers

The Iowa swimming and diving teams both have quite a few freshmen this year, and the squads are ready to see what talent they have. The women’s program welcomed five freshmen this year, four from Iowa: Jolynn Harris, Taylor Hartley, Kelsey Maher, Sam Tamborski, and Alleyna Thomas.

The men’s team brought in seven newcomers this year from just about everywhere. Jackson Allmon, Mateusz Arndt, Caleb Babb, Dolan Craine, Anze Fers Erzen, Andrew Fierke, and Matjaz Rozman make up the Hawkeye newbies.

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16 — Best finish at NCAAs

The Hawkeyes may have a lot of returners, but some of them are also the best they have to offer. The 200-free relay team of Myhre, Scott, Smith, and Kamin placed No. 16 at the NCAAs with a time of 1:17.50, earning All-American honors in the process.

The same group also finished No. 23 in the 400-free relay in 2:51.58.

With some experience at the top level of college swimming heading into the 2018-19 season, Iowa certainly has potential to improve in the postseason. Getting the swimmers in action early in the season should help them ease into things.

While it will be important for the returners to shake the rust off, the meet at Michigan State and the Intrasquad will help the newcomers, because they will get their first tastes of college swimming at Iowa.