Men's swimming hosts Hoosierland Invite

Weekend will help prepare for Big Ten, NCAAs

When the IU men’s swimming and diving team hosts the Hoosierland Invite this weekend, IU coach Ray Looze hopes history doesn’t repeat itself.

“We don’t typically swim well at this (event) for whatever reason,” Looze said. “I don’t know if it’s because of the timing, or some teams come in rested and we’re not. I always hold out hope, though, that we’ll be successful at a point of the season when traditionally we haven’t been. But it’s really up to the kids and how seriously they take the meet.”

The swim team welcomes Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh and Truman State, while the diving team hosts Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Wright State and IU-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The meet will begin Friday and run through Sunday, with a morning session and an afternoon session each day.

“It’s similar to NCAAs or the Big Ten Championships in that it’s a three-day, six-session meet,” Looze said. “It’s very important because we don’t go to many of these, to be able to handle the increased event load and the three days of swimming.”

The Hoosiers haven’t raced in a meet since Nov. 1, when they lost to Texas and Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich. The layoff has not affected their training schedule, though.

“Basically, when we have time off from meets, it means time to train hard,” junior Aaron Opell said. “And that’s basically what we’ve been doing. This is one of the toughest times of the season in regards to training.”

This meet offers a break from the dual-meet season, and the Hoosiers will use this meet as preparation for the Big Tens.

“Everyone just goes in with the basic mindset that everyone wants to swim fast,” freshman Jim Barbiere said. “Everyone wants to keep getting better every race. This is the halfway point of the season, so it lets you know where you are before going into Big Tens.”

After the loss to Texas and Michigan, Looze hopes his team will rebound this weekend.

“I really want to see consistency, great preliminary swimming, taking races and approaching them aggressively, getting used to winning,” Looze said. “We have a young team, and the last meet we swam we got knocked around pretty good by number one and number three, so we want to get back to our winning ways.”

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