IU swim and dive splits meet vs. Auburn


Then-Junior Dorina Szekeres dives of the block during the 100 yard breaststroke during the meet against University of Kentucky and University of Tennessee on Nov. 1, 2013 at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center. IU is set to begin its season Friday. File photo and File photo Buy Photos

In the final leg of the 200-yard medley relay, freshman Ali Khalafalla was the first to touch the wall, and the IU sideline erupted.

IU Coach Ray Looze jumped up and down, his fists in the air.

The Hoosiers took first in 1:28.78 for a crucial relay win. They never lost that momentum in a decisive 165-78 win against Auburn on Friday.

“That really changed the dynamic of the meet because they were favored to win both relays,” Looze said. “I got a little excited there, a little carried away.”

The women’s team fell behind early and couldn’t make up the lost points, ?losing 129-113.

Freshman Kennedy Goss won the 200-yard freestyle and finished second in the 500 free in her first meet as a Hoosier.

IU’s most impressive performance of the day came in the 200-yard butterfly. The women took first, second, third and fourth, with sophomore Gia Dalesandro finishing first in 1:59.73.

Looze said if a couple early races had gone a different way, the outcome could have been very ?different.

“We were down by 50 points at one point and could’ve really been blown out,” Looze said. “And they stopped it. They clawed their way almost all the way back.”

Freshman standout Blake Pieroni was first in the 200-yard freestyle. He also placed second in the 100 free.

The Hoosiers went 1-2-3 in the 500-yard freestyle, led by sophomore Grayson Smith at 4:33.89.

Looze gave credit to the women’s divers, a weakness of last year’s team when they had just one diver on the team.

“Lacey Houser and Jessica Parratto and the rest of their teammates ... last year it was a real weakness and that’s not the case anymore,” he said.

Freshmen anchor divers

In their first collegiate diving meet, Jessica Parratto and James Connor swept their events Friday against Auburn.

Parratto was first in both the 1-meter and 3-meter competitions with 285.60 and 306.60 points, ?respectively.

Connor edged out IU sophomore Michael Hixon in the 1-meter by 2.33 points.

“There was some adversity,” IU diving Coach Drew Johansen said. “Always, when you have live TV, the pace of the event is managed by someone else. They showed their experience. They’re both international swimmers. They’ve been around the block.”

Connor and Hixon went back and forth during the 3-meter competition, with Connor coming out on top again with 415.58 points.

“They’re both serious competitors,” Johansen said. “They bring that to practice everyday.

“They’re going to trade on and off throughout their whole careers here because they’re both two of the best divers in the world.”

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