Iowa swimming and diving notebook | Hawkeyes prepare to travel to Evanston

Iowa will close out the Big Ten season with a four-team meet featuring the Hawkeyes, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Purdue Boilermakers, and host Northwestern Wildcats.


Matt Sindt

Iowa’s Ken Gilbertson swims during heat 2 of the 200 meter backstroke during day three of the 2022 Hawkeye Invitational at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center in Iowa City on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022.

Jake Olson, Sports Reporter

This weekend, the Iowa swimming and diving team will close the regular season in a four-team Big Ten event in Evanston, Illinois, featuring the Hawkeyes, Purdue Boilermakers, Minnesota Golden Gophers, and host Northwestern Wildcats.

Friday’s competitions will start at 5 p.m. while Saturday’s events are set to begin at 11 a.m.

“Our goals are to compete against some of those top teams in the Big Ten,” Iowa head coach Nathan Mundt said. “We want to see that competition at an elite level heading into our championship season.”

Mundt said the upcoming quad meet was set up to allow his athletes to get in the pool against some of the conference’s top teams.

Minnesota is ranked 25th in the latest College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America Poll, and Northwestern received 30 votes. Big Ten schools Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin are listed above Minnesota, at No. 9, 16, and 17, respectively.

“I think we set this up on purpose so that we are seeing these teams, getting used to that level of competition,” Mundt said. “Kind of like a mini Big Ten meet going into three weeks later. It sets us up really well. It should also provide an opportunity to do a lot of racing over two days.”

Following this meet, the Hawkeyes will travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to compete in Big Ten championships from Feb. 15-18.

“I am really excited to go and race against some different teams we haven’t seen yet,” freshman Scarlet Martin said, “especially seeing Big Ten teams before we get into our championship season.”

Last time out

Iowa tied with the Vanderbilt Commodores, 131-131, on Jan. 21. The Hawkeyes nabbed nine first-place finishes on the day, including four in a row to start the dual.

RELATED: Iowa swimming and diving ties Vanderbilt in final home meet

Freshman Sabina Kupcova notched two golds against Vandy winning both the 200-yard and 50-yard freestyles. Senior Kennedy Gilbertson earned top honors in both the 100-yard back and 100-yard fly.

“It was a great opportunity to race at home,” Gilbertson said. “I am super glad I got the opportunity to race. I thought I put on my best show this season.”

The Hawkeyes earned a victory and 11 team points in the 400-yard free relay — the final race of the day to earn the draw. Sophomore Molly Pederson, Martin, Kupcova, and Gilbertson teamed up to touch the wall in 3:27.09.

Mundt said he had never seen a collegiate dual end in a tie before.

On the road again 

Iowa has only competed in two road meets so far this season — at Northern Iowa and at Minnesota. The trip to Evanston will be the Hawkeyes’ first multi-day road event this year.

“It is really nice being on the road because it changes the mindset of meets,” Pederson said. “We come here every day for practice, but when we are on a bus or a hotel you really feel like it’s a meet. You feel the need to perform better.”