In its last weekend of competition in the fall season, the IU women's swimming team is sending swimmers to both the U.S. Open Swimming Championships and to the Miami (OH) Invitational. The Hoosiers are currently ranked No. 17 in the nation and have a 2-0-1 dual meet record.\nEight Hoosier swimmers are heading to the Nassau County Aquatic Center in East Meadow, New York, to square off against some of the world's best competition. The Open will allow the Hoosiers to compete in short-course meters as opposed to the short-course yards they compete in for collegiate events. The Open will start today and continue through Saturday, Dec. 1.\nIU head coach Dorsey Tierney hopes the competition her swimmers will see at the Open will help them prepare for the spring championship season.\n"The competition at the U.S. Open will be the toughest we have faced thus far this year," Tierney said. "It gives us a chance to see some swimmers you don't even see on the NCAA level, either high-schoolers or post-graduates, and they are some of the best in the world."\nWith a good performance, Tierney also knows the Open will be a good chance to spotlight IU and possibly even look at recruits.\n"It is a good opportunity for us to showcase our program nationally and internationally," she said. "It helps us as far as recruiting and gives us a chance to watch some of the young kids."\nLeading the Hoosier contingent to East Meadow will be senior Susan Woessner whose international experience already includes two silver medals and one bronze medal from the World University Games. Juniors Jenny Bechem, Kristy Martin, Colleen McCracken and Anne Williams; sophomores Sarah Fiden and Brooke Taflinger and freshman Erin Smith will also represent the Hoosiers at the U.S. Open.\nMartin doesn't think the team will be affected by having to compete in short-course meters, and said she will focus more on places rather than times for this event.\n"I don't think (the short-course meters) will be a big difference," Martin said. "We have been training for it the past two weeks, so I think we will be okay swimming it. I am looking to go fast and hopefully place in the top eight; I am looking more at places, because I really don't know what times to expect."\nTaflinger is looking forward to the Open and to facing the tougher competition.\n"I am really excited to go to the U.S. Open, because it is one of my favorite meets," she said. "I'm looking to get in the top eight in a few events and just to get good racing in. We will face more high-caliber swimmers there and will have to get mentally prepared to get up and race against everybody. It will be nice to match-up against some people we will be competing against at the end of the season."\nMinus from competition in both the Open and the Miami Invitational for the Hoosiers will be junior Tina Gretlund, who will take a break after returning to her native Denmark to swim for her club team in Denmark's National Championships. Gretlund placed second in three individual events and one relay, while also guiding her team to win in the 400-meter free relay.\nWhile the eight Hoosier swimmers are competing at the Open, 15 others will travel to Oxford, Ohio, to compete in the Miami Invitational. Heading the 18 team field in Oxford will be fellow Big Ten competitors, Illinois (3-0) and Michigan State (4-1) along with Western Kentucky (4-0) and host Miami (OH) (5-1).\nTierney said she likes being able to split the squad and hopes the young swimmers going to the Invitational will be able to improve and increase their leadership qualities.\n"Hopefully we can continue to get better from out past performances this season," she said.
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