Iowa women’s swimming and diving breaks records at Big Ten Championships

Iowa used school records, personal bests, and a bronze medal to claim ninth place at the Big Ten Championships.


Jenna Galligan

Iowa’s Christina Kauffman competes in the 200 yard butterfly preliminaries during the sixth session of the 2020 Big Ten Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. Kauffman finished in 52nd with a time of 2:07.01.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

Iowa finished 2019’s Big Ten Championships in Bloomington, Indiana, in 10th place with 400.5 total points, the most the Hawkeyes had scored since the 2015-16 season. This year, the Hawkeyes improved in both categories.

The Hawkeyes finished with 430 points and came in one spot higher in ninth place. Iowa’s point total was its highest since the scoring system changed to allow all 24 finals qualifiers in each individual event to score points for their team.

Multiple school records and a bronze-medal finish from senior Hannah Burvill helped the Hawkeyes reach new heights.

In all, Iowa set five new school records over the four-day event — two of which were shattered on Feb. 19, the first day of the meet.

The 800-free relay team of seniors Burvill, Allyssa Fluit, and freshmen Millie Sansome and Macy Rink set the first record of 7:04.70. They bested the previous record set in 2018 by nearly 3.5 seconds, and Iowa finished fourth in the race. The time is an NCAA provisional qualifying time.

Following the conclusion of day one’s races, junior Kelsey Drake entered the water for a time trial in the 200-fly.

The junior swam a career-best and broke her own school record by almost two seconds in 1:55.89. That swim will likely qualify Drake for the NCAA Championships in March in Athens, Georgia. Last season, a time of 1:56.2 earned a spot in the national meet.

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“That was definitely a high point,” Drake said. “Dropping two seconds, that’s crazy. I knew I could do it, but to see the time, it was unbelievable.”

On Feb. 20, the records continued to fall. This time, two Iowa records were broken in the same race.

The 400-medley relay team of Sansome, freshman Aleksandra Olesiak, Drake, and Burvill set the new fastest Iowa time at 3:36.18 — surpassing the previous record of 3:36.71 set in 2017.

That time earned the Hawkeyes ninth in the field and 40 points toward the team total.

On the first leg of the relay, Sansome broke the program record in the 100-back with a time of 53.21. Burvill previously had the fastest mark at 53.27.

“It was exciting,” Sansome said following Feb. 20’s finals session. “I knew that I was up against some really fast girl. [Iowa head coach Marc Long] said before, ‘I’m pretty sure one of them is going to break the NCAA record.’ I knew it was going to be tough competition, and I was trying to focus on what I’ve been working on, and it paid off so I’m really happy with it.”

Sansome wasn’t done signing her name into Hawkeye lore.

On the final day of competition, she swam a 1:54.86, breaking her own school record in the 200-back to qualify as the seventh fastest time in the prelims.

“I was really looking forward to it,” Sansome said. “I was trying to use what I’d learned so far from my previous races, because I hadn’t done as well in the morning as I would’ve liked to in my previous races. I just put my head down and went for it. I was really, really happy with the outcome.”

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