Iowa women’s swim and dive set for tri-meet against Minnesota, Northwestern

The Hawkeyes will travel to Minneapolis to compete in two meets before the Big Ten Championships next month.


Jenna Galligan

Iowa’s Zoe Pawloski finishes the 100 yard butterfly against the University of Northern Iowa at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. Pawloski finished fifth with a time of 1:04.73.

Chase Szewc, Sports Reporter

Iowa women’s swim and dive will have two chances to get into the win column this weekend as the team heads to Minneapolis.

Iowa will take on Minnesota and Northwestern at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center. Competition will begin Friday afternoon and run through Saturday.

“It’s called a tri-meet,” junior Zoe Pawloski said. “It’s basically — we’re dueling against Minnesota and Northwestern. They count them as separate duals.”

The Gophers have already defeated the Hawkeyes once this season in Iowa City. Minnesota took down Iowa, 156-104, on Oct. 8 in the Hawkeyes’ first Big Ten dual of the 2021-22 season.

The Hawkeyes most recently suffered a 204-87 loss to Illinois last Saturday — the first meet since athletes returned from break. The defeat dropped Iowa to 0-5 overall on the season.

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Iowa swimmers have found individual success in the pool, despite the Hawkeyes’ winless record.

Junior Anna Booker notched a first-place finish in the 1,000-meter freestyle with a time of 10 minutes and 37.15 seconds against Illinois. She also placed third in the 500-meter freestyle with a 5:11.81 time.

Brooker said her biggest focus over her winter breaks was on self-improvement to help herself in the back half of the season.

“Coaches cultivated a type of environment where everybody practices, and they really tried to make practices so that we left feeling better about our times,” Brooker said. “We kind of transitioned into events that we would actually swim. So, I think I definitely helped our confidence.”

Pawloski recorded two season-bests against Illinois, with a 2:09.73 time in the 200-meter backstroke and a 2:13.36 mark in the 200-meter individual medley.

Over the course of the season, Pawloski has been working on how long she can stay underwater.

“I’ve really been focusing on my underwaters,” Pawloski said. “So, I’m trying to go 15 meters underwater each 25 [meters]. I’ve also really been working with this little yellow device called a tempo trainer, and it helps me move my arms a lot faster and keep my tempo up.”

The Hawkeyes’ duels against Northwestern and Minnesota will be their final regular-season matchup before they travel to Madison, Wisconsin, Feb. 16-19 for the Big Ten Championships.

Brooker said unity within the Hawkeyes’ program is the first step to snagging a victory.

“I think in this last week that we have, I think this team really wants to be a connected whole,” Brooker said. “We want to work as hard as we can to compete against Northwestern and Minnesota. Just keeping our spirits high going into the Big Ten [Championships], knowing that we can do anything that we put our mind to.”

The Hawkeyes’ long-term goal for 2021-22 has been self-improvement with an undersized roster. For the remainder of the season, Pawloski said she is focusing on personal records.

“In this upcoming meet this weekend, I’m definitely trying to get back down to my fastest times,” Pawloski said. “And then at the Big Ten [Championships] I’m hoping to get some new PR’s.”