Women’s swimming prepared to host conference championships

The Iowa women’s swimming and diving team will welcome the rest of the Big Ten to Iowa City for the annual conference championships.


Katina Zentz

Iowa swimmer Hannah Burvill rests after finishing her race during the Hawkeye Invitational swim meet at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Thursday Nov. 15, 2018.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

For the first time in 12 seasons, Iowa City and the Hawkeyes will host the Big Ten women’s swimming and diving championships.

The four-day event — running from Wednesday to Saturday — will be the final contest at the Campus and Recreation and Wellness Center for the Hawkeye seniors.

Hannah Burvill, Allyssa Fluit, Meghan Hackett, Samantha Sauer, and Thelma Strandberg will all make their final appearances at the CRWC.

Burvill is hoping to go out on top.

She holds the Big Ten’s top time of the season in the 200-free, tallying a 144.92 at the Minnesota Invitational in December. The time was good enough to earn the top spot in the conference this season, but Burvill’s school record in that event — a 144.42 set back at the 2018 Big Ten Championships — is in her sights this week.

“I would like to improve my 200 [free],” Burvill said. “I think to have my best time still be from sophomore [year], I should be able to get that down and move it forward. I’d love to do that in a relay and have us get into finals for that one. Of course, I would like to improve my times in general to show the improvement we’ve made throughout the season.”

Burvill also ranks fourth in the conference in the 100-free, eighth in the 50-free, and 15th in the 100-back.

The team as a whole have dropped their times continuously during the season, resulting in some of the top marks in the Big Ten.

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Apart from Burvill, three other Hawkeyes have times in the top 10.

Fluit’s 200-free performance at the Shamrock invitational of 146.59 ranks seventh in the conference, junior Kelsey Drake’s 200-fly (157.87) at Iowa State stands at eighth, Drake’s 100-fly at the Minnesota Invitational (53.28) nabbed the 10th position, and freshman Millie Sansome’s 200-back of 155.94 at the Shamrock Invitational comes in at ninth.

In diving, Iowa holds the conference’s top marks in both the 1-meter competition — with junior Jayah Matthews’ 321.10 — and 3-meter competition, were Sam Tamborski’s 319.75 stands at the top of the leaderboard.

Junior Claire Park ranks seventh on the 1-meter with a 289.15.

The Hawkeye women amassed a dual meet record of 6-4 (3-3) over the season, placing them eighth in the Big Ten out of 13 teams.

At last year’s conference meet, the Hawkeye’s finished 10th in the field in Bloomington, Indiana. But with a new group of talented freshmen and more experienced upperclassmen, this year should yield better results.

“I’m excited to see what we can go out and do this year,” Fluit said. “We want to move up in the rankings and, of course, it would also be great do well individually.”

Head coach Marc Long is excited to see his group tested against top competition, following a long season preparing for the meet.

“We want everyone to step up and have their best performance,” Long said. “This has been a rapidly developing group and a confident group all season, so we’re just excited to put them in the situation to race against some of the world’s best swimmers.”

The meet gets underway at 5 p.m. tonight with the 200-medley and 800-free relays.

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