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Swimming and diving wins three out of four matchups in opening meet of season



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Then-sophomore diver Jessica Parratto, now a junior, dives in a 2016 women's 10-meter event at the IUPUI Natatorium. Parratto won the 1-meter dive in a tri-meet against No. 3 Texas and No. 18 Florida last week. Bari Goldman Buy Photos

IU experienced its first action of the season this past weekend in Gainesville, Florida, in a tri-meet with Florida and defending men's NCAA champion Texas. 

The meet featured six ranked teams and 12 Olympians combined between the three schools.  

The Hoosiers came out victorious in three of their four matchups. The No. 6 men’s team took down No. 2 Texas, 264-165, and No. 4 Florida, 242-187. 

The women’s squad won one of its two opportunities as IU beat No. 18 Florida, 251-178, but lost to No. 3 Texas, 226.5-200.5.

The meet's swimming events wrapped up Saturday morning, while diving finished Friday afternoon at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. 

One of those divers was redshirt junior Jessica Parratto, who qualified for the NCAA zone cut in the 1-meter dive with a score of 302.85. 

By qualifying for the NCAA Zone Championships, Parratto will have a chance later this season to qualify for the NCAA Championships.

“It's nice to get that done in your first meet, almost everyone on the female side qualified," Parratto said.

Senior swimmer Blake Pieroni, who became an Olympic champion at the 2016 Rio Olympics, was the star on the men's side, winning both the 100m and 200m freestyle events both days of the meet. His times of 43.53 and 1:35.17 were the third-fastest times in the country in each event.

“It's a big confidence builder,” Pieroni said. “Last year, Texas and Florida came to IU, and this year, we came to their house and beat them, it was really good.”

One of the other big topics of conversation from the meet was the speech given at the University of Florida by white nationalist Richard Spencer. The speech occurred Thursday night as the Hoosiers were driving to Gainesville from Orlando. 

Senior swimmer Kennedy Goss said everybody on the IU team felt safe while in Florida.

However, one swimmer didn’t make the trip because her parents didn’t feel safe about her well-being.

The team was on the opposite side of campus compared to where Spencer spoke, and the distance between the two events was more than two miles.

Pieroni also said the speech didn’t provide any distractions for the team.

“It was fine, it didn’t affect us at all,” Pieroni said. 

While this meet was the first of the year, the season ramps up quickly as the Hoosiers will travel to Knoxville, Tennessee, next weekend for another tri-meet, where they will battle Tennessee and Kentucky. 

“Placing this close to Texas is a good sign for the rest of the season,” Goss said. 

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