Iowa women’s swimming and diving finishes eighth at Big Ten Championships

The Hawkeyes competed in Minneapolis this past week, bringing home broken records and hardware from the Big Ten meet.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa’s Alyssa Graves competes in the women’s 1000m freestyle during a swim meet at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. The women’s team hosted Nebraska while the men’s team had an intrasquad scrimmage.

Evan Bruner , Sports Reporter

The Iowa women’s swimming and diving team capped off its season with an eighth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships in Minneapolis.

There were several notable performances throughout the week, but none more than Mallory Jump. The sophomore broke her own record for the fastest time in school history in the 100 fly on Thursday.

Jump swam a 52.30 in the preliminary heat and recorded a sixth-place finish in the “A” finals with a time of 52.81. She finished 18th in the 100 breast later on Friday.

Teammate Kelsey Drake joined Jump in the top 10 for the 100 fly. Drake placed eighth overall, and narrowly missed out on a personal best, finishing the race in 53.19 seconds. The Marion, Iowa, native took ninth in the 200 fly as well.

In the 200 free, the Hawkeyes had two “C” finalists. Sophomore Macy Rink placed 17th and junior Lauren McDougall finished 22nd. Rink’s time of 1:48.03 was a personal best, and the sixth fastest time in program history.

Alyssa Graves had a strong outing, qualifying for the “A” final in the 200 fly, and then placed sixth overall with a time of 1:57.99.

On the final day of the competition Graves took 11th in the 1,650 free with a time of 16:21.34. The time was good enough for the second-fastest time in program history. Graves also finished 14th in the 500 free.

Sophomore Aleksandra Olesiak took 24th in the 200 breast. Olesiak recorded a season best time of 2:16.19 in her “C” Final.

The meet concluded with the 400 free relay swam by Sarah Schemmel, Drake, McDougall, and Rink. The four put together a tenth-place finish and a 3:20.76 time. This ranks as the ninth-fastest time in program history.

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Senior Lexi Horner won the Big Ten’s Sportsmanship Award at the conference championships. Horner competed for the team in the 200 breast and finished with a personal best in the 400 IM.

On the diving side, the conference championships were held in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Junior Samantha Tamborski finished ninth on the 3-meter with a season-high of 322.235. Tamborski would also take 17th in the 1-meter with a 263.10. Freshman Sarah Ballard finished 20th with a score of 261.55

The Hawkeyes left the championships having scored 424 points. The team competition was won by Ohio State, which had 1,584 points.

For most of the team, the meet marks the end of a tumultuous season. After the University of Iowa announced the women’s swimming and diving program would be discontinued after the academic year on Aug. 21, the team lost several coaches and athletes who looked to find new homes.

It was announced Feb. 15 that the university would permanently reinstate the women’s swimming and diving program after a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction in December that blocks the university’s plans to discontinue the sport at the end of the academic year.

Despite all the challenges they faced this year, the Hawkeyes’ resilience paid off. The team finished a spot higher than it did last season at the conference championships.

The team will now await bids for the NCAA Championships, which will be held March 17-20 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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