Although the Hoosiers nearly missed a top-10 finish at the 2013 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis, the IU women’s team earned several top finishes and placed record times individually.
Scoring 115 points and achieving their 10th consecutive top-15 finish at the NCAA Championships, the Hoosiers earned their best finish since 2010 as they swam and dove to 11th place. Georgia came out as the victor at the conclusion of the meet with a score of 477 points and took home the national title.
“I thought it was a great performance by the Hoosiers,” IU Coach Ray Looze said. “The girls showed grit. They showed determination. They were passionate about what they were doing.”
For IU, junior Lindsay Vrooman completed her standout season on a high note.
The veteran distance swimmer demolished her previous school record of 15:51.20 in the 1,650-yard freestyle on Saturday by .47 of a second in a third-place finish of 15:50.83. Vrooman is one of two IU swimmers to ever record a time below 16 minutes in the event.
Not only did she break a school record in the 1,650-yard freestyle, but she also made her mark in the 1,000-yard freestyle after she broke the school record with a split of 9:37.74.
“She is the rock of this team, and I told her that after the race,” Looze said. “She wanted to win the national title in that race and, Lindsay being Lindsay, she wasn’t real happy with it. But it is her best times and it is her highest finish at the NCAA Championships.”
“You have to celebrate every little step of the way even if they are not as big of celebrations as you would like."
On the first day of competition, Vrooman swam the 500-yard freestyle in 4:36.41 and placed fifth in the nation. Her time was the second-fastest in school history and earned All-American honors.
In the 200-yard backstroke on Saturday, freshman Brooklyn Snodgrass cut .4 of a second off her preliminary time to touch the wall in the finals at 1:52.12. The All-American time earned Snodgrass a seventh-place finish.
A day earlier, Snodgrass finished third place in the 100-yard backstroke in 51.52 to earn an NCAA All-American honor and a personal career-best time.
“It feels awesome to go to such a big competition and have performances that rank amongst the best in the nation,” Snodgrass said. “I am excited that I still have three years left.”
Sophomore Allie Day hit the wall in 1:54.42, good for 21st place. Sophomores Cynthia Pammett came in 25th with a time of 1:55.05, Dorina Szekeres 28th (1:55.23) and Justine Ress 36th (1:56.12).
In the 200-yard butterfly, junior Brenna MacLean just missed a top-ten finish. After touching the wall with a split of 1:55.68 and earning honorable mention All-American, MacLean had an 11th place finish.
For the women divers, senior Amy Cozad had the highest finish in the platform event. She placed third with 325.20 points, an All-American mark.
“I think at one point this season we were ranked 22nd and that’s the kind of respect we were getting by the coaches that vote on that poll but this is the only national ranking that matters,” Looze said. “It’s the final one.”
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the way they responded.”
While most of the Hoosier women are done with the 2012-2013 season, a break is not in store for a few of the swimmers.
Canadian natives junior Bronwyn Pasloski, Pammett, MacLean and Snodgrass are going to the World Trials Victoria qualifying meet next week in Victoria, Canada, Looze said.
They will all swim for a chance to participate in the FINA World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona and the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, Russia.
“They are going to head up there with Coach Tommy Brush and hopefully do a really good job and try to get on some international teams for the summer,” Looze said. “But otherwise, everybody else is going to take a little time off, get caught back up on school, and then get ready for their training for the summer.”