Senior Margaux Farrell said she knew she would be emotional during her final meet as an IU swimmer at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center heading into the final dual meet of the season Saturday.
With the Hoosiers taking on a highly touted Louisville team, the women ranked No. 24 and the men ranked No. 12, securing wins Saturday afternoon was not going to be an easy task.
Led by performances from IU’s seniors and underclassmen, the No. 12 women’s team defeated the Cardinals 165-128, while the No. 11 men fell by a 165.5-134.5 margin.
On the women’s side, Farrell and senior Allysa Vavra dominated in their final dual meet. The two combined earned six overall wins.
Though the Hoosiers’ seniors provided multiple wins, IU also saw victories from sophomores Lindsay Vrooman and Laura Ryan and from freshmen Justine Ress and Allie Day.
“The whole meet was fun to watch,” Vrooman said. “I really think our freshmen class is going to make a name for themselves as the years go by, and having them with the great talent of our senior class is great. It’s awesome to see people winning events and putting up great times in every class.”
Farrell won three events for the second time in a row including last week’s meet against Purdue, winning the 200-yard freestyle by a three-second margin (1:48.49), the 50-yard freestyle (23.53) and the 200-yard medley relay (1:42.56), during which she led the Hoosiers in the last leg of the race.
Meanwhile, Vavra earned victories in the 200-yard butterfly (1:58.05), 200-yard breastroke (2:14.02) and 400-yard individual medley (4:12.25), which she won by a wide, 5-second margin.
“I would say that the meet went really well,” Farrell said. “Everyone came in with a great attitude, and we really fought hard from beginning to end. It was a really nice win to go out on.”
Meanwhile, Vrooman provided the Hoosiers with key distance-event victories, as she took both the 500- and 1,000-yard freestyle wins.
In the 1,000 freestyle, Vrooman’s time of 9:51.49 was nearly 12 seconds faster than Louisville’s second-place finisher. In the 500 freestyle, she edged IU senior Brittany Strumbel to win the event with a time of 4:50.92, only .19 seconds better than her teammate.
Vrooman’s total swimming distance on the day was equivalent to 30 feet shy of a mile.
“Placing first in the freestyle events was a nice confidence boost, I’ll have to admit, but I was happier about maintaining my speed and endurance as the meet went on,” Vrooman said. “I think that was a little bit more pivotal for me — knowing that I could compete consistently well in all my events today.”
Finally, the Hoosiers rounded out the day’s performance with victories by Day in the 200-yard medley relay and the 100-yard backstroke (55.54), while Ress won in the 200-yard medley relay, as well, and the 200-yard backstroke (2:00.57). Freshman Dorina Szekeres swam the 200-yard backstroke as an exhibition, and had she swam in the actual race, she would have won.
“The freshmen always bring their A-game to meets,” Vrooman said. “They’re all just great teammates.”
On the men’s side, the Hoosiers struggled to achieve wins in the pool, as the Hoosiers only won four events outside of the diving competition.
Andrew Taylor won the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:20.21, and John Schnittker won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:29.61.
However, in diving, junior Zac Nees swept both events for his sixth and seventh wins this season, as the Hoosiers went 1-2-3 in both dives to give them a chance at a comeback in the overall meet.
The Cardinals won 10 of the 14 swimming events to prevent any comeback.
“We just didn’t get the job done, and we’re better than that,” IU Coach Ray Looze said. “We swam better last week than we did this week, so we’ve just got to know that we’re a better team than that and know that we just didn’t show up like we’re capable of.”
Though the men will be participating in the Ohio State Winter Invite from Feb. 11-12, the next women’s meet will be the Big Ten Championships from Feb. 15-18.
For them, the team will be going for its fourth consecutive Big Ten title.
“Almost all of the team will be tapered and ready to go, so hopefully we will be able to win the meet again,” Vavra said. “I think that everyone will have to step up and do their part, and if that falls into place, then the meet will go the way we want it to.”
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