The pool at Ohio State University was filled with great swimmers from Thursday to Saturday at the AT&T U.S. Short Course Nationals.
Many of the talented athletes wore the distinctive white swim caps of IU, and they did not disappoint.
Junior Eric Ress had another good showing, finishing fifth in the 100-yard backstroke and posting the third-best time in school history in the 200-yard backstroke, finishing fifth. Numerous women had top-five finishes, from junior Nikki White in the 500-yard freestyle to junior Alyssa Vavra in the 400-yard individual medley.
Five Hoosier relay teams posted top-five finishes, which perhaps is an example of how far the team has come since struggling with relays early on.
“I was so pleased with the morale and the spirit,” IU coach Ray Looze said. “We had some people step up who had never done that before, so we’re starting to come together.”
As many other teams competed in the event, the men’s squad had a chance to scout out some future opponents. However, not as many women’s teams from the Big Ten were represented at the meet.
“It was a really good dry run for Big Tens, and on the men’s side, we got to take a really good look at Michigan and Ohio State,” Looze said. “It kind of tells us what we need to develop between now and Big Tens on the men’s side.”
Looze and the rest of the team are pleased at the progress shown during the weekend.
“I don’t know if we’re a championship team yet for women or men,” Looze said. “But you can see one building.”
Remaining Hoosiers hold floor at Hoosierland Open
With the majority of the IU team was participating in U.S. Short Course Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, those who stayed in Bloomington approached the Hoosierland Open as a tune-up.
“I felt like this was almost a perfect meet for us because we had a lot of young divers, and it was an opportunity for them to just kind of get in and rehearse the things they want to do for Big Tens, Winter Nationals and the NCAAs, so it was good for us,” IU diving coach Jeff Huber said.
In an event that multiple people described as basically an intersquad meet, there was much to gain.
“We’ve had a lot of season bests, a few lifetime bests, and I would say this is a breakthrough meet for a lot of the athletes that are here racing,” said Donny Brush, assistant coach for coordination of training and student-athlete development.
Freshman Michael Mohler and sophomore Afton Robertson both performed especially well. Robertson cut 10 seconds off her 400-yard individual medley time, while Mohler
won the men’s event and placed well in other races.
After the end of the semester, the teams begin preparation for the USA Winter Nationals in Iowa City, Iowa. The team considers the Winter Nationals, which begin Jan. 30, the most important meet of the year thus far.
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