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Friday, Feb. 23
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Women’s swim and dive second at Big Tens

The IU women’s swim team broke eight school records and earned nine more top-five times in IU history in its second-place finish at the 2014 Big Ten Championships.

The Hoosiers tallied 649 points, 111 points shy of Minnesota, which won its third consecutive Big Ten title.

“You’re never going to have a perfect session,” IU Coach Ray Looze said. “Two of our three days were really, really good. One could’ve been a little bit better. We did the best we possibly could.”

After night one, IU had a two-point lead in the standings.

Sophmore Brooklynn Snodgrass, senior Bronwyn Pasloski, freshman Gia Dalesandro and senior Kait Flederbach won the 200-yard medley relay in a school-record time of 1:36.69. The 800-yard freestyle relay team then took second to give the Hoosiers a 74-72 lead against the Gophers going into day two.

In the final three days of competition, the Hoosiers never led, but finished nearly 200 points ahead of the third-place team.

On night two, Flederbach, senior Stephanie Armstrong, Snodgrass and junior Cynthia Pammett took third in the 200-yard freestyle relay to set another school record.

Flederbach’s time of 22.40 in the opening 50 yards is the fastest time in school history.

Flederbach said team support was crucial to each race.

“We had so many girls go best times and really step up to make it back to finals,” she said. “These girls are the most inspiring, dedicated group of women so we get each other ready for every next race.”

The team set school records in four of its five relay races at the meet.

Lindsay Vrooman defended her 500-yard freestyle title, finishing nearly two seconds ahead of her competition. Her time of 4:36.91 is the fourth-fastest time in IU school history.

She now owns four of the top five times in the event.

“The number of school records, individual winners, relay winners — this might be the most I can recall us having, so that was really nice to see,” Looze said. “The chemistry of the team, something I’ve emphasized all year long, was really apparent.”

At the end of day two senior diver Kate Hillman earned a career-best score of 321.60 on the 1-meter to finish sixth.

She was also the silver medal winner on the platform. Hillman finished her Big Ten career with another all-time best score of 322.25.

She said her mindset going into the meet was the best it has ever been.

“I just went into the meet with the mindset of having fun and just doing what Drew wanted me to do each dive,” Hillman said. “I surpassed my expectations and had a blast diving so that’s all I can ask for.”

On day three, the Hoosiers set yet another team record in the 400-yard medley relay. Snodgrass, Pasloski, Dalesandro and Flederbach finished in 3:30.30, which is also a Big Ten record.

Dalesandro also claimed the two fastest times in IU history in the 100-yard butterfly. Both her preliminary and final times are NCAA A-cut qualifying times.

She is the first-ever Hoosier to swim the race in less than 52 seconds.

“My teammates kept me focused and pumped and prepared for my first Big Tens,” Dalesandro said. “The team spirit the whole week kept us going. Everyone was loud and crazy and they just kept everyone so pumped and focused.”

Other day three highlights included Vrooman’s third-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle and Pasloski’s second-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke. Snodgrass won the 100-yard backstroke in 51.65, a season-best time and NCAA A-cut.

On the final day of competition, Snodgrass led a 1-2-3-4-7 finish in the 200-yard backstroke final.

Vrooman earned the fourth-fastest time in school history in the 1,650-yard freestyle. She now owns all four of those times.

Flederbach set a school record in the 100-yard freestyle and Pasloski earned a lifetime best time in the 200-yard breaststroke. Both had third-place finishes in their event.

Dalesandro said tiredness never fazed them toward the end of the meet.

“Everyone’s tired on the last day, but it’s also our best day out of the whole meet, so I think even if we were tired it didn’t really matter because everyone was prepared to step up today,” she said. “We were in great shape all year so that makes it so much easier to finish races strong.”

Dalesandro was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. She was also named to the Big Ten first team, along with Flederbach, Pasloski, Snodgrass and Vrooman.

Looze said he’s proud of what his team accomplished, but the season isn’t over. Six NCAA A-cuts were earned at the Big Ten Championships, automatically qualifying a portion of the women’s team for the NCAA Championships.

“We’ll be looking forward to what kind of a team we bring to NCAAs,” Looze said. “That’s going to be pretty cool to see what we can do at NCAAs here in Minnesota in another four weeks.”

Follow reporter Grace Palmieri on Twitter @grace_palmieri.



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