Iowa women’s swimming heads to SMU to face top competition

The men still have more than two weeks off, but the women are in action this weekend against some top competition.


Ben Smith

Iowa’s Lexi Horner prepares on the blocks for the women’s 100m breast stroke 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.

Tanner DesPlanque, Sports Reporter

The Iowa women’s swimming and diving team is sending nine Hawkeyes to Dallas to take part in the SMU Classic today and Saturday at the Robson & Lindley Aquatic Center.

“It’s one of the premier meets, certainly a premier early meet in the country,” head coach Marc Long said. “It has world-class performers and world-class times. USC will be there, and you got Louisville [and] Michigan. I think there are three top-15 teams that we’re competing against. It’s a different format; you can only bring eight swimmers and one diver.”

The swimmers are Hannah Burvill, Kelsey Drake, Allyssa Fluit, Lexi Horner, Devin Jacobs, Kelly McNamara, Samantha Sauer, and Sarah Schemmel. The diver is Jayah Mathews.

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“I think the main goal for this weekend is to go there and swim fast,” sophomore Drake said. “The competition at the meet will be a lot higher than what we are used to. So I think that will be a really good learning curve for our team. I think the main goal is just to come together as a team and compete to race the best we can.”

This will be the first time Iowa has attended the meet, and this will mark the only time this season it is a women-only invitational.

“We wanted to take ourselves out of our region and compete against the best early on,” Long said. “We want to see some great racing. It’s so early right now.”

It is early, but the team wants to pick up another win in Dallas.

“Our peak meets are in February and March, so it is very early for us. I think some people believe we have the eternal season,” Long said. “But this is a key part of development. It’s part of our season plan, of our practicing basically.

“We don’t consider it our peak meet, but we expect them to be ready race and race with the best of the Olympians who are there. It’s just a really good opportunity. It’s going to help with their development as we get to our dual-meet season, and then, of course, we have our fall invitational, then head into the winter season.”

The first session will begin at 6:30 p.m. today, and second will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The Iowa men will not see any action until Oct. 27, when it will head to Minneapolis to take on Minnesota and South Dakota State.