After a pair of wins in Gainesville, Florida, last weekend, the IU men’s swimming and diving team has been named the No. 1 team in the country. The Hoosiers jumped five spots from their previous preseason rank of No. 6.
The IU women’s team also rose two spots to No. 8 in the rankings after splitting meets with then-No. 2 Texas and then-No. 18 Florida.
Head swimming coach Ray Looze said this is exactly what happened last year after their meet with Florida and Texas. After picking up the No. 1 ranking last year, the Hoosiers went 11-0 in dual meets.
“Luckily we’re prepared for this," Looze said. "We'll likely have a target on our back every meet. We’re excited about it. It brings recognition and positive vibes to our program. We think we have some really good things going on here.”
This target will be on the team's back for the rest of the season, including this weekend when the Hoosiers travel to Knoxville, Tennessee, to battle Tennessee and Kentucky.
The meet will begin at 11 a.m. Friday at the Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville.
Last season, this double dual took place in Lexington, Kentucky, and IU dominated the competition, winning by almost 100 points.
However, both Looze and head diving coach Drew Johansen reiterated that it won't be as easy this time around.
“We need to get deeper, and we’ve taken a good step forward in that process,” Looze said. “We need to continue to develop all our athletes from top to bottom, we need more people contributing.”
Looze and Johansen said the team has its work cut out for it, and it’s going to be much closer than in recent years. The Tennessee women’s team is ranked No. 12, while the men’s team is ranked No. 15. Kentucky’s women are No. 15 in the nation, while the men’s team is unranked.
Ahead of the trip to Tennessee, the swimming and diving teams also earned individual recognitions.
Freshman Grace Haskett was named the Big Ten's women's Freshman of the Week. Haskett was a member of three victorious relays in Gainesville, the 200m medley relay (1:37.30), the 400m medley relay (3:26.31) and the 400m freestyle relay (3:20.93).
Lilly King was named the Big Ten's co-women’s Swimmer of the Week as she was the winner of three individual events and two relays this past weekend against Florida and Texas.
Redshirt Junior Jessica Parratto was named the conference's co-Diver of the Week after she qualified for the NCAA Zones during both of her events, the one-meter dive.
Senior Blake Pieroni received Big Ten co-men’s Swimmer of the Week and was also named as College Swimming.com's DI National Swimmer of the Week. Pieroni won all six events he competed in last weekend.
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