Iowa’s swim/dive team gets bolster from freshman class

The Iowa swim/dive freshman class has impressed so far this season, giving the team a much-needed jolt.

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Hannah Kinson

Iowa’s Aleksandra Olesiak competes in the 200 Breaststroke during a swim meet at the CRWC between Iowa and Rutgers on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. Olesiak finished first with a time of 2:18.85.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

As the early portion of the swimming and diving season comes to a close, the freshmen on both the men’s and women’s teams have made an immediate impact for the Hawkeyes.

The women’s roster includes 17 freshmen that make up almost half of the team, and the men have six first years.

With the addition of new faces, the team also has a new energy and excitement.

“[The freshman class] as a whole have kind of brought a whole new level to our team as far as racing, preparing, and training goes,” senior Joe Myhre said. “I think that we really needed that, and we’ve been missing that.”

Diving duo Mohamed Neuman and Michael Huebner and Joe’s brother Will Myhre are three freshmen on the men’s side that have had a positive impact for the Hawkeyes.

Huebner posted a first-place score of 293.70 in the 1-meter diving event during the team’s season-opening victory over Michigan State.

Neuman has earned multiple diving titles so far this season. He tallied winning scores of 329.20 and 334.00 off of the 1-meter in a three-team dual with Michigan and Indiana on Nov. 2 and against Minnesota on Oct. 26, respectively.

In the 100-breast, Will Myhre notched impressive performances in two meets this season. He took home the title in the first meet of the season with a 55.25 and improved on his time against Minnesota with a 55.03 to place second.

Aleksandra Olesiak and Millie Sansome have been standouts on the women’s team, winning numerous individual events as well as being part of many victorious relay teams so far.

Olesiak has been impressive as of late, claiming her first two individual victories (100 and 200-breast) as a Hawkeye on Nov. 8 during a win against Rutgers.

“It was fun,” Olesiak said following the meet, “It was really nice to enjoy finally not being out-touched for the first time and able to pull out a win for the first time as a freshman.”

RELATED: Iowa women’s swim/dive gets impressive dual meet win ahead of mid-season invitational

Olesiak has the team’s fastest time in two events so far this year: the 100-breast (1:03.37) and the 200-breast (2:17.69).

Sansome has been a force for Iowa all season, and her success began on the first night of official competition. She won three individual events and added a fourth as part of a relay team in a triangle meet against Michigan State and Northern Iowa. She was named Big Ten Women’s Freshman of the Week following the meet.

Sansome has continued to perform well throughout the year, as she has won at least two individual events in each of the Hawkeyes’ first four dual meets of the season. One of her standout victories was an exciting come-from-behind win in the 1000-free on Oct. 26, out touching against Abbey Kilgallon of Minnesota by only 54 hundredths of a second.

Sansome holds the women’s top times of the year in three different races: the 500-free (4:49.40), 1,000-free (10.03.70), and 400-individual medley (4:18.77).

Olesiak, Sansome, and fellow freshman Anna Brooker were selected to compete at the SMU Classic earlier this year in Dallas, Texas, where Iowa placed fourth out of six teams.

After the men’s and women’s teams split with Minnesota on Oct. 26, head coach Marc Long highlighted the youth of both the men’s and women’s programs.

“We have a lot of development still going on, a lot of young people, and this is a really good growing opportunity for all of us,” Long said. “I’m really, really proud of the men and the women.”

Both of Iowa’s teams will compete at the Minnesota Invitational from Dec. 4-7.

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