Men’s and women’s swimming teams post strong results in Georgia Invitational

Senior Allysa Vavra led the way for a record-breaking weekend in Georgia.

The No. 14 IU women’s and men’s swimming teams finished the three-day Georgia Invitational with top-five finishes.

The women’s team took fourth place in the overall meet standings, ahead of No. 18 Virginia and second overall in swimming-only teams.

Meanwhile, the men were led by wins from junior Sam Trahin and freshman Steve Schmuhl.

The team finished fifth in the overall standings out of nine teams, only two points behind No. 21 Virginia.

“We had a very good meet and saw a lot of swimmers get season-best and career-best times,” IU Coach Ray Looze said. “Without our divers competing, I thought we did a fantastic job. That also made the scoring a bit deceiving.”

Vavra broke the IU record for the 200-yard individual medley Friday with a time of 1:56.80. The next day, Vavra continued her hot streak, earning the third-fastest time in the 400-yard individual medley in IU history with a time of 4:04.60 in a second place finish.

That result also gave her a feat that very few Hoosiers have ever done — earn the top five times in one event in school history at one time.

“Getting the record this weekend was really unexpected,” Vavra said. “I went into this meet unrested after a tough week of training, so I thought I’d be tired going in. To be honest, though, having these records is cool, but I really hope to get faster times this season.”

Vavra was not the only one who entered the record books for the IU women’s team this weekend — four other Hoosiers put their names in IU history. Senior Margaux Farrell earned the third and fifth all-time best times ever at IU in the 200-yard freestyle, racing a 1:44.47 in preliminaries, and 1:44.52 in the finals.

That time was good enough for a third-place finish on the race. Seniors Brittany Strumbel, Courey Schaefer and Nikki White joined her in placing third in the 800-yard freestyle relay in a time of 7:06.97, good for the fifth-best time in Indiana history.

“Our depth is starting to show and be apparent, which is fantastic,” Looze said. “That’s the way we build our teams at Indiana — with exceptional depth. We had more and more people in finals than in the recent past, and that’s what you have to do if you want to be a championship-level team.”

The Hoosiers are now done for the 2011 portion of the season until IU takes on Michigan in a dual-meet on Jan. 7 in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Right now,  Looze said the the team will focus on training and continuing its preparation for the Big Ten and NCAA Championships.

“We are getting there as a program, but there’s a lot to improve on,” Looze said. “We really have to come back this week, get caught up on our studies and get back into our intense workout routine. We also have to work hard over the holidays when nobody’s looking because that’s what great teams do.”

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