Iowa keeps pace on day three of Big Ten Championships

The Hawkeyes qualified seven athletes for the finals Friday night and took advantage of their prime time stage.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa swimmers embrace each other after the 800 Free Relay during the first session of the 2020 Big Ten Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships at the HTRC on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

Following Thursday’s portion of the women’s Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships in Iowa City, Hawkeye head coach Marc Long was already anticipating a big showing from his team on Friday.

“Tomorrow is probably our strongest day,” Long said following the conclusion of Thursday’s action. “We want to get as many people up in scoring position as possible. That’s the goal for the team.”

At the conference meet, in order to score, a team must qualify an athlete for the finals based on their time in the preliminary race.

Iowa qualified a whopping seven athletes to Friday night’s final events.

Junior Kelsey Drake continued her hot streak qualifying for the ‘A’ final in the 100-fly, senior Sarah Schemmel qualified for the ‘C’ final in the same event, freshman Grade Reeder qualified for the ‘C’ final in the 400-individual medley, and the Hawkeyes advanced three swimmers to the finals of the 200-free.

Freshman Macy Rink qualified for the ‘C’ final and seniors Allyssa Fluit and Hannah Burvill each made it into the ‘A’ final. Burvill finished fourth overall in the prelims.

In the 3-meter diving event, sophomore Sam Tamborski finished fifth overall in the prelims to advance to the ‘A’ Final.

The group of Hawkeyes combined to earn Iowa 114 points on the night and put the team in ninth place before the final day of action on Saturday.

Fluit was the highlight of Iowa’s day. First, in prelims, she swam a personal-best 1:45.93 to nab the eighth spot and get to the ‘A’ final by only .002 seconds.

Then, in the finals, she improved on that time and swam to a 1:45.82. This time gave her fourth place in the race and gave the team 26 points. Burvill finished one spot ahead of Fluit in 1:45.36. The pair combined for 53 total points for that event.

“I was really proud of myself,” Fluit said. “I think it was a bigger achievement this morning because obviously to make that ‘A’ final is hard. But to move to fourth, it was big points for the team. It was really nice to do it.”

Long was happy to see the senior have arguably the best day of her Hawkeye career on the biggest stage.

“That’s great and that’s what you want to see,” Long said. “Her and Hannah are so close even as friends. It’s pretty remarkable having them come in as freshmen and then to finish off like that right next to each other is pretty special.”

The two seniors’ performances in the 200-free carried over into the last race of the day, the 200-free relay.

Iowa’s team of Burvill, Fluit, freshman Kennedy Gilbertson, and junior Sarah Scemmel finished in ninth place in a time of 1:31.09, the second fastest time in Hawkeye history.

“Me and Hannah were just really proud of ourselves,” Fluit said. “We’re taking every step and enjoying it as we go. I think we just are thriving on this idea that this is our last Big Ten meet and we want to do well at our own pool. Then to get on the podium right next to each other was really motiving for us.”

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