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Saturday, Dec. 2
The Indiana Daily Student


Hoosiers can't sneak up on pack this year

Ranked team to face tough competition

IU finished third in last year's Big Ten Women's Swimming & Diving Championships, and head swimming Coach Dorsey Tierney admits she thinks her squad snuck up on the rest of the pack.\nThis year it won't be so easy, and Tierney and the Hoosiers know it. But Tierney hopes last year's experience will help her squad.\n"The level of expectation has risen quite a bit," she said. "Last year I think our overall performance was a little bit unexpected by the rest of the conference. Going into it (this year), I am not thinking about winning or placing; it is more a matter of everyone stepping up and putting together races that they are capable of. If we do that, the rest will take care of itself."\nThe No. 19 Hoosiers enter the meet with a 7-1-1 overall dual record and a 4-1-1 record in the conference. IU's lone defeat came at the hands of No. 14 Penn State.\nWith six teams ranked between No. 14 and No. 21, the conference meet is shaping up to be a competitive one. Along with the Hoosiers and Nittany Lions, other top contenders include No. 16 Northwestern and No. 18 Michigan, last year's champion.\nTierney said she believes the Hoosiers are a long shot and said will take a team effort to be in the running.\n"I can't predict what any other teams will do," Tierney said. "We have an outside shot. It would take a perfect meet for us (to win); we need a total team effort."\nThe meet kicks off this evening at 7 p.m. in Ann Arbor, Mich., at Michigan's Canham Natatorium. Tonight, swimmers will compete in the 200-yard medley relay and the 800-yard freestyle relay. The rest of the competition will take place Thursday through Saturday with pre-lims at 11 a.m. and finals at 7 p.m. each day.\nIU will be led by sophomore Sarah Fiden, junior Tina Gretlund and senior Susan Woessner. Heading into the meet, Fiden has the second-fastest time in the conference in the 500-yard freestyle and third-fastest time in the mile. Gretlund has posted the fastest times in both the 200-yard and 400-yard individual medley and is third quickest in the 200-yard butterfly.\nWoessner has the fastest time in the conference in the 100-yard backstroke and is second in the 200-back. She has high hopes for her last conference championships.\n"I want to go out with a bang," Woessner said. "As a team, hopefully we can get at least a top-two finish. If everyone is on I think we can win, and that would definitely be a great accomplishment to have during my senior year."\nWhile the swimmers battle it out in the pool, the six Hoosier divers will take on the Big Ten's best on the boards.\nHead diving coach Jeff Huber said he thinks experience will be a factor for his talented squad.\n"Experience will help, but in some cases some of the dives we are throwing we haven't ever done before in big meets," Huber said. "That will be an X-factor for us -- how well we handle our newer dives. If we can handle that, we should have a good meet."\nThe Hoosiers' six divers are second-most of the 11 squads, with Minnesota having nine divers entered and host Michigan also having six competitors.\nHuber knows the depth of his squad could hinder the Hoosiers more than helping them.\n"I've already told our women that if they miss even a little bit, they are going to get hammered hard (by the judges), but they have to be aggressive," Huber said.\nJunior Sara Reiling will be returning to action for IU in the Big Ten's after red-shirting last year to compete in the 2000 Summer Olympics. Reiling is a two-time Big Ten champion on the platform. She also won the one-meter competition as a freshman while finishing second on the one-meter and fourth on the three-meter her sophomore season.\nReiling said the Hoosiers will be ready for the competition and is energized to be back in the conference's elite competition.\n"Going into Big Tens, I'm excited," Reiling said. "A couple of weeks ago, I was a little ahead of myself, thinking too far in advance. We will be ready. Jeff (Huber) is real good at timing us and getting ready to go. I think it is going to be fun"

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