Tournament time means only one thing: nothing less than the best. IU coach Ray Looze’s 11 Hoosier men’s swimmer and divers have been waiting all season for the chance to prove themselves as a top 10 team. \nThe No. 6 Hoosiers are in Federal Way, Washington, for the three-day NCAA Tournament. They join six other Big Ten teams, including No. 3 Michigan, at the meet. The Hoosiers’ only two losses against ranked opponents this season came in their two meetings with the Wolverines. IU has competitors in 15 of the 18 events that will run during the tournament. \nThe nine swimmers and two divers hope to help the Hoosiers place higher than the No. 15 spot they finished in last season. Senior Ben Hesen finished second in the 100 backstroke and eighth in the 200 backstroke. Senior Pat Penoyar finished 12th in the 200 breaststroke. \nThis year looks even better for the team as it heads to nationals. Hesen is seeded No. 1 in the 200 backstroke, No. 2 in the 100 back and No. 7 in the 100 butterfly. Senior Todd Patrick is seeded No. 2 in the 200 individual medley and No. 6 in the 200 butterfly. \nIndividual Hoosiers aren’t the only ones expected to do well. The 200 freestyle relay team consisting of Hesen, Patrick, senior Matt Lenton and freshman Ante Zoricic is seeded eighth, and the 400 medley relay team consisting of Patrick, Hesen, Lenton and Penoyar is seeded ninth. \nThe Hoosiers have been climbing the rankings all season. During the preseason, they were ranked No. 8 and have never slipped below that all season. The No. 6 position they currently hold is the highest the team has been ranked all year. \nLast week, four divers attempted to qualify for the NCAAs at the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships. Freshman standout Landon Marzullo and senior Taylor Roberts both qualified. This will be the first trip to the NCAAs for Marzullo and the second for Roberts. \nMarzullo and Hesen both claimed national and Big Ten honors at the Big Ten Tournament, including the Swimmer and Diver of the Year awards. Hesen also shattered a pool record at Canham Natatorium at the University of Michigan during the tournament, besting a time in the 100 backstroke previously set by U.S. Olympian Michael Phelps.
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