If history had any bearing on Saturday’s swimming and diving meet against Kentucky, IU swimming coach Ray Looze didn’t plan on a win from his young team.
“I kind of expected to lose, in all honesty,” Looze said after the meet.
But the Hoosiers proved their coach wrong, turning in a 189-108 victory over the Wildcats at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center.
“The last couple of years, our freshmen have struggled, but there’s no choice this year,” Looze said. “This is a pretty good freshman class. I guess it’s going to be a little bit different if this continues to be the trend.”
Junior Aaron Opell led the way for the Hoosiers with wins in three events. Opell took the 100- and 200-yard breaststrokes as well as the 200-yard individual medley.
Freshman Eric Ress won the 1,000-yard freestyle and the 200 backstroke in his first meet. Sophomore Titus Knight won the 200 and 500 freestyle.
“A lot of guys stepped up in this meet,” Knight said. “It was a lot of improvement from the Cream and Crimson intrasquad. A lot of guys showed their true colors today.”
The Hoosiers won nine out of the 12 swimming events, showcasing the team’s strengths.
“We do have some depth to our team this year,” Looze said. “That would be one of the positives we have. We just need to develop some stars. There’s talent on the men’s team – it’s just young and undiscovered.”
Sophomore Cody Weik added a first-place finish in the 200 butterfly, junior Bryan Chovanec won the 50 freestyle, sophomore Ante Zoricic won the 100 freestyle and sophomore Matthew O’Brien won the 100 butterfly.
“I was pretty excited going into this meet because there are so many unknowns about this team and Kentucky has a really good men’s team,” Looze said. “It was good to see some youngsters and even some veterans step up and do some fine swimming.”
On the diving side, sophomore Landon Marzullo dominated both events, winning the one-meter and three-meter boards. Marzullo’s score of 421.30 on the three-meter board was good for a pool record.
The young Hoosier squad will be tested Friday when they face Big Ten rival Northwestern.
“It’s really uncharted waters,” senior Matt Lenton said. “At the moment, we’re just seeing where everyone is at and just testing everyone. The signs are good, and we’re looking forward to the future.”
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