Iowa swimming and diving continues to improve at Hawkeye Invitational

Iowa placed fourth at the three-day Hawkeye-hosted event from Dec. 1-3. Iowa’s athletes recorded eight top-10 marks in program history over the three-day span.


Vincenzo Mazza

Makayla Hugbanks is seen mid dive during the one meter dive event on day one of the Women’s Swim and Dive at the Campus Recreational and Wellness Center in Iowa City on Thursday, Dec 1, 2022. Hughbanks had a final score of 269.65.

Jake Olson, Sports Reporter

The Iowa women’s swimming and diving team placed fourth in what was not only the first Hawkeye Invitational since 2018 but Iowa’s first multi-day competition this season. 

Iowa finished the three-day meet from Dec. 1-3 with 624.5 points, trailing Illinois, Rutgers, and team champion Nebraska in the final standings. Iowa State and Northern Iowa only participated in the diving events. 

However, Iowa athletes had eight top-10 marks in program history, all of which came from the last two days of competition. Even finishing at the bottom of the team leaderboard at the Hawkeye Invitational, Iowa head coach Nathan Mundt said he is pleased with the progress the team has made early this season. 

“It’s a young team,” Mundt said. “So we are learning together. We are only three or four months into this as far as having this team and building. To have a number of top performances in school history is really tremendous.”

Hughbanks shines

Sophomore Hawkeye diver Makayla Hughbanks propelled herself into the Iowa history books on Friday night with a career-best performance in the 3-meter competition. The Bettendorf, Iowa, native ended the night with a 355.40 total, good for 20 team points and the fifth-best score in school history. 

“I definitely think it’s awesome and I was sort of shocked when I saw it,” Hughbanks said. “The whole team has been having a lot of good scores and breaking records. It is really exciting to see how Iowa swim and dive is moving and how we will be the start of something new.”

Freshman compete

Coming into the Hawkeye Invitational, Iowa assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Mona Groteguth was interested to see how well the underclassmen could compete in what would be, for some, the first multi-day event of their college careers.

 After the meet, Groteguth said the team’s first-years in particular performed well. 

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“They [freshman] did really well,” Groteguth said. “They did really well doing all the little things right. I think it’s a good experience if something didn’t work then just moving forward and making adjustments.”

Big picture

The Hawkeyes showed a lot of improvements during the Hawkeye Invitational, as many athletes posted career bests. 

But Mundt said his team will only get better throughout the season.

“Going forward we have to understand what we can to build stamina,” Mundt said. “We have to understand what we can do in those little things. All the technique and all the little things are going to add up to better races come Big Tens and beyond.”

Up next

The Iowa women’s swim and dive team will host the Iowa State Cyclones on Friday at 6 p.m. at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center as part of the annual Cy-Hawk Series. Before their loss to the Cyclones last year, the Hawkeyes had won 10 straight times against Iowa State.