Iowa swimming and diving hosts Wisconsin and Northwestern

The Hawkeyes will get a preview of the Big Ten Championships Saturday as they welcome Big Ten foes.

Swimmers+prepare+to+compete+during+the+Hawkeye+Invitational+swim+meet+at+the+Campus+Recreation+and+Wellness+Center+on+Thursday+Nov.+15%2C+2018.+

Katina Zentz

Swimmers prepare to compete during the Hawkeye Invitational swim meet at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Thursday Nov. 15, 2018.

Tanner DesPlanque, Sports Reporter

The Iowa swimming and diving teams will host their first meet at home in 2019 on Saturday, taking on Wisconsin and Northwestern. The triangular should be a mini preview of what is to come during the Big Ten Championships later in the season.

The meet should give Iowa an opportunity to see what kind of times it must finish with to compete with some of the teams at the Big Ten meet. The Wisconsin women are ranked No. 14 in the nation, and the men sit at No. 24.

“The goal is to try to score as well as we can moving into Big Tens, because this is the competition that we will be facing at Big Tens, and this is a nice preparation for that,” sophomore Sage Ohlensehlen said.

The women’s team will work on their relays a little more, she said. The whole team thinks about the relays, because they are so important in terms of points. This weekend will be a great opportunity for the Hawkeyes to get a preview of their relays against Big Ten opponents.

The relays are also important to the men this weekend, especially the middle-distance freestyle team. Wisconsin defeated the Hawkeyes last year at the Big Ten meet, and the Hawkeyes would love nothing more than to beat the Badgers this time around.

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“Wisconsin dominated us in our middle-distance freestyle last year at Big Tens, and it was a huge downside,” junior Will Scott said. “So I think that our middle-distance group is going to be trying its best, and you know, I think they are going to succeed at really beating back the Badgers there.”

Both teams also welcomed a new international swimmer to their rosters over break: freshman Aleksey Tarasenko of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, for the men and freshman Lauren McDougall of Sydney for the women.

Both will both compete in freestyle events. McDougall made her Hawkeye début last weekend in Champaign, Illinois, when the Iowa women competed against Illinois and Notre Dame.

Iowa is only focused on the meet this weekend. Each Hawkeye has a different focus going into the rest of the season, but the overall goal is to win.

“Within a swimming and diving competition, there’s just so many things going on, so many events, and some many athletes going at the same time, so everyone kind of has their own story,” head coach Marc Long said. “I think when you are looking overall as a program, of course, you want to be getting the wins … You’ve just got, in some cases, NCAA champions both in the pool and on the boards, so kind of event by event becomes quite a bit different. That is an amazing challenge to have that.”

The triangular will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center. The Hawkeyes will recognize 15 seniors prior to the meet for Senior Day.

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