Swimming and diving downs Western Illinois on Senior Night

Iowa won every official event to take down the Leathernecks on Feb. 7. Now, the Hawkeyes are into championship season


Jenna Galligan

Iowa’s William Scott gets ready to swim the 100 free during preliminary rounds of the men’s Big 10 Swimming Championships on Saturday, March 3, 2019.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

Both the Hawkeye men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams ended the dual meet season with convincing victories over Western Illinois on Senior Night in Iowa City over the weekend.

The Hawkeyes honored their 13 graduating swimmers before the action began. The members of the Black and Gold were recognized in front of the home crowd for the final time.

“This team has good chemistry and those seniors have been through a lot,” head coach Marc Long said. “It’s really important we have a senior class that can provide that kind of leadership. It’s going to pay off here at the end of the season.”

The men tallied a 122-44 win, and the women topped the Leathernecks 130-67.

Iowa has faced and beaten Western Illinois in every final home meet since at least 2010, which is as far back as the records go.

Although it was an official meet, many of Iowa’s athletes had the chance to participate in events that they normally do not get to.

For instance, Sam Tamborski raced in the final leg of the 200-free relay, an exhibition event, on a team with Lauren McDougall, Taylor Hartley, and Alleyna Thomas.

In that race, the team was split into relay groups by class. The juniors finished first, followed by the seniors and Tamborski’s sophomores in third.

Normally, Tamborski’s action comes off of the diving boards.

Much of the meet was treated as a fun event, as it was the final swim before championship season.

“It’s a totally different format,” Long said. “I mean, we mixed the relays up, but they are racing hard. You see some stuff like the fun relays at the end, where they’re relaxed and they’re putting up some pretty good times. It’s the final preparations as we head into Big Tens.”

RELATED: Iowa swimming to host Western Illinois on Senior Night

Senior Forrest White enjoyed the different format, breaking from the normal grind.

“This meet gives us a little break and lets us relax a little bit,” White said. “But, it’s great to see guys get up on the blocks and swim events they normally don’t and still see them hit fast times.”

The women’s conference meet will be held at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center from Feb. 19-22, but for the seniors on the men’s team, Feb. 7 marked their last competitive swim in the home pool.

The meet may have concluded Iowa City native Will Scott’s career in the Iowa pool, but he insisted he would be back on the deck sometime down the road.

“I’ll be back,” Scott said. “I know this isn’t the last time I’ll be on the deck, last time I swim in this pool. I don’t really get nostalgia that bad, so I know I’ll be back. Maybe its 10 or 15 years, but I’ll be back.”

White, who was forced to miss nearly the first two months of the season with a back injury, was a little more reflective following the meet.

“I wouldn’t change it for anything,” White said. “The feeling of getting to work hard with these guys is unbelievable. Even though it’s been a tough year, being injured and everything, every day it’s a lot easier to get through it with such a strong and passionate team. I think the sky is the limit for us. Championship season is going to be really cool.”

The men’s squad will head to Bloomington, Indiana, for their Big Ten Championships from Feb. 26-29.

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