Iowa swimming to host Western Illinois on Senior Night

In the last dual of the season, Western Illinois comes to Iowa City tonight to face off against the Hawkeyes on Senior Night.


Jenna Galligan

Iowa junior Joe Joe Myhre high fives a swimmer while checking the results of the 100 freestyle during preliminary rounds of the men’s Big 10 Swimming Championships on Saturday, March 3, 2019.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

When Iowa gets into the pool tonight for its last dual meet of the year, it will be the team’s final competitive swim before the Big Ten Championships begin with the women’s competition on Feb. 19-22.

Before hosting the Western Illinois Leathernecks at 6 p.m. tonight at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, Iowa will hold a senior night celebration where they will honor the careers of 13 Hawkeyes.

Head coach Marc Long is focused on preparations for the postseason meets but also wants to thank the seniors for their hard work.

“This meet is our last competition in preparation for the Big Ten Championship season,” head coach Marc Long said. “We’re looking forward to that, but we really want to celebrate our seniors as we head into their final couple of months.”

The night will be emotional for many of this season’s graduating class. Allyssa Fluit will not only be celebrating senior night tonight, but also her 22nd birthday.

“I’m excited to reflect on the past four years of swimming, which is a very happy moment,” Fluit said. “I’ve worked toward senior night and my final Big Ten trip, so I’m going to live in the moment and look back and enjoy the moments I’ve had these past four years.”

Over the last four seasons, Fluit — a Pleasant Hill, Iowa, native — has put her name in the Iowa record book, collecting top 10 Hawkeye times in the 100, 200, and 500-free. All three of those times came at last year’s Big Ten championships.

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Tonight’s meet will also be the regular season finale for Western Illinois. The Leathernecks’ men’s team has yet to win a dual meet this season, and the women’s team’s only victory of the year came on Feb. 1 against Truman St. by a final of 111-103.

Meanwhile, Iowa’s men are ranked 18th in the TYR/CSCAA rankings poll and 19th in the College Swimming rankings. The Hawkeye men’s team has a dual meet record of 3-3 (2-3 Big Ten). Last time out, the men’s team finished in second place at the Shamrock Invitational on Jan. 24-25.

The women’s team finished in fourth place at that meet, highlighted by Millie Sansome’s school-record swim of 155.94 in the 200-back. She broke her previous record, which the freshman set at the Minnesota Invitational in December.

In dual meets, the Iowa women are 5-4 (3-3) and are ranked 38th in the College Swimming rankings.

Iowa has faced off with the Leathernecks in the last meet of the year — sometimes a dual and sometimes a three-team meet — for at least the last decade, and both the men’s and women’s teams are undefeated against Western Illinois in that span.

The final head-to-head contest of the season, barring an unprecedented upset, should be the perfect way to send the Hawkeyes into championship season. It should also be a great way to honor the class of 2020 — adding one last victory.

“I’m excited to enjoy this moment with my team and have fun,” Joe Myhre said. “We’re going to race fast.”

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