Swimmers open season against SEC opponents


Then-junior Brittany Strumbel hugs then-junior Nikki White after winning the 800 freestyle relay during the Big Ten Women's Swimming and Diving Championships. Alex Farris Buy Photos

The Hoosiers started their 2011-2012 season with a bang as the men swept Tennessee 151-149 and Kentucky 212-88, and the women defeated Kentucky 205-78 but fell to Tennessee 163-120.

In their first meet and without junior Eric Ress, who is redshirting the season in order to train for the 2012 Olympics, the depth on the men’s team carried the Hoosiers throughout the competition.

Sophomore Cody Miller got off to a fast start, winning both the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke races and finishing second in the 200-yard Individual Medley and the 200-yard Medley Relay with junior Daniel Kanorr, sophomore James Wells and true freshman Steve Schmuhl.

In addition to Miller’s successes, junior Jim Barbiere took the 200-yard freestyle win, senior Tyler Shedron prevailed in the 200-yard butterfly event, junior Ryan Hinshaw was victorious in the 500-yard freestyle race and Schmuhl won his first career race in his first college meet in the 200-yard backstroke.

“(The depth) was an eye-opener for us,” Miller said. “It shows how much better we are this year compared to last year, and it also shows that we really have potential to be great this year and do great things. We have a strong freshman class and a solid group of men overall. It was a great way to start the season.”

Meanwhile, despite the women’s team having key performances by seniors Margaux Farrell and Brittany Strumbel and sophomore Laura Ryan in their effort against their two SEC opponents, the Hoosiers could not overcome Tennessee.

Though Farrell won in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle races, Strumbel in the 200 and 500-yard freestyle and Ryan in the 3-meter diving competition, the Volunteers won the 11 other events conductedSaturday.

“I was really pleased with how tough our girls swam,” IU coach Ray Looze said. “We were shorthanded with our squad so we had swimmers who don’t normally swim, and it changed the complexion of our relays.

Given those challenges, I think we did a great job. Tennessee is a really good team, and you need to bring your ‘A’ game when we go up against them, and I think we did that.”

Both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will next face Michigan and Texas in Ann Arbor, Mich., Nov. 4 and 5. Last season, both teams in each program finished the season ranked in the top 20.

“In order to do well against them, we just have to continue what we have been doing: winning races and exhibiting depth,” Looze said. “Getting the swimmers back, though, from the Pan-Am Games is definitely going to help.”

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