Iowa swim/dive handles Michigan State, Northern Iowa

Iowa powered past Michigan State and Northern Iowa in the Hawkeyes first official meet of the fall.


Katina Zentz

UI swimmer Emelia Sansome competes during the triangle meet against Michigan State and UNI on Thursday, October 3, 2019.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

The Iowa men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams opened up their season with a sweep of Michigan State and Northern Iowa in Iowa City on Oct. 4. 

The Hawkeyes began the weekend with exhibition races on Oct. 3 and followed with a combined win of  24 out of 32 events on Oct. 4. 

“It was great to see them race,” Iowa head coach Marc Long said in a release. “We’re so new and young ~to put them in this situation is outstanding. We’re learning a lot about them as competitors. The thing we wanted to focus on was competing.”

On the men’s side, Iowa outscored the Spartans 180-112 with contributions made throughout the Hawkeyes’ roster.

Anze Fers Erzen won three events, including the 100-back (50.36), part of an impressive 1-2-3-4 finish for Iowa. Fers Erzen also claimed victories in the 200-back (1:47.57) and 200-individual medley (1:51.61). Mateusz Arndt finished first in two events: the 500 and 1000-free in 4:29.99 and 9:25.52, respectively. 

The Hawkeye men also claimed the first four spots of the leaderboard in the 100-free, as Aleksey Tarasenko won the event in 44.85 seconds, and Joe Myhre (45.55), Steve Fiolic (46.25), and senior Will Scott (46.29) rounded out the top spots.  

Iowa also took the first four places in the 1-meter diving competition on Oct. 3 night.

“As a team we had some outstanding performances,” Scott said in a release. “We’re looking good in practice, good in this first meet and the intrasquad last week.  It’s going to shape up to be a good season if everything stays on track, which right now it looks like we’re starting to get that ball rolling.”

RELATED: Iowa swimming and diving excels in exhibition

The women cruised to two victories Oct. 4, beating both UNI and MSU by the margin of 183-113.

Freshman Millie Sansome, who hails from England, stood out for the Hawkeyes as she won four events. She claimed individual titles in the 1,000-free in 10:10.49 and 500-free (4:59.67) and was part of winning efforts in the 200-medley relay (1:42.94) and 400-free relay (3:28.81).

“I was happy with my performance,” Sansome said in a release. “It’s an adjustment swimming in meters from yards, so there are things I can work on, but I have set a good baseline.  The atmosphere and team support was amazing.  You were ready to get up and race, even if you were hurting. You felt when you got on the blocks that you were ready to give it everything.”

The wins on Oct. 4 continued a recent tradition of dominance over the Spartans, as both the men’s and women’s teams for Iowa are undefeated in the last eight meets against MSU. The Hawkeye women also beat UNI last season, 137-86.

Long sees this meet as a stepping stone for the future. 

“We’re putting them in situations that will challenge them,” Long said in a release. “It’s exciting. There is such a great energy they have. People were swimming in off events, some were in a tough training situations, and they stepped up and raced. That’s all we can ask for right now.”

Next on the schedule for the women’s team is the SMU classic in Dallas Friday. The men face Minnesota Oct. 26 at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.

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