Iowa women’s swimming to celebrate senior night against Minnesota Friday

The Hawkeyes haven’t defeated the Gophers head-to-head in over 15 years.


Jenna Galligan

Iowa swimmer Anna Brooker wishes a teammate good luck during a meet against the University of Northern Iowa at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. The Panthers defeated the Hawkeyes 159-133.

Chase Szewc, Sports Reporter

Iowa women’s swim and dive will celebrate senior day on Friday night at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. The meet is only the Hawkeyes’ second of the season. But it is, however, the last they’ll swim in Iowa City in 2021-22.

Iowa only had two meets at the CRWC on its 2021-22 schedule, both of which were scheduled back-to-back in the first two weeks of the season.

The Hawkeyes lost their home-opener to UNI, 159- 133, last Friday.

Iowa will welcome Minnesota to the CRWC this Friday. The Golden Gophers most recently defeated the Hawkeyes in 2020. Minnesota lapped Iowa in Minneapolis, 192-107.

Iowa may have a difficult time competing against Minnesota again this season. The Hawkeyes only have 12 athletes on their active roster — down from the 24 swimmers and divers Iowa had on its team in 2020-21.

With so few athletes at its disposal, Iowa may struggle to score enough points to keep pace with Minnesota’s 33-athlete roster.

“I honestly think it’s just keeping a positive attitude going into meets just because we know we are not going to win much because of our numbers,” junior Kennedy Gilbertson said. “Even though we could get first in everything, it still comes down to how many people you have on your team.”

Because the Hawkeyes don’t have enough athletes on their roster to beat other teams head-to-head, they’re focused on winning individual events and recording personal-best times, rather than their team win-loss record.

“We’re just going to keep training as hard as we can and keep a positive mindset knowing that, going into the meets, we don’t have as many swimmers as the other teams,” junior Anna Brooker said. “We’re just going to try and raise our goal times.”

RELATED: University of Iowa, women’s swimmers reach settlement in Title IX lawsuit

Despite the challenging circumstances, the Hawkeyes have not changed their practice regimen this season.

“When we do have free sets, we do them to our best ability,” junior Kennedy Gilbertson said. “We practice our turns every time we go into the wall, the race pace, just so we keep up the freestyle. I feel like that’s the biggest thing we train for.”

Brooker, a long-distance freestyle swimmer, won both the events she competed in against UNI. At practice, she’s been doing drills that will help her keep the momentum she established against the Panthers going versus the Gophers.

“I’ve been continuing to keep my motivation up, building my endurance, and keeping a steady pace to keep improving myself and my [500-meter freestyle times],” Brooker said.

The Hawkeyes’ meet with the Gophers this Friday will be the second of first-year Iowa head coach Nathan Mundt’s career. Through just one week of the 2021-22 season, he’s already established his team’s culture and built a foundation of trust with his athletes.

“We all really like Nathan,” Brooker said. “I think he’s a great coach overall. I think that these coaches have more of a personable coaching style compared to years previous. They definitely care about our mental health, our physical health, and our overall well-being for the team.”

Action between the Hawkeyes and Golden Gophers will begin at 4 p.m. Friday. Iowa will be aiming to avoid its first 0-2 start since 2014.

Facebook Comments