IU swimming and diving takes on Wisconsin

The IU swimming and diving teams are set to compete again, this time against a Big Ten opponent.

Wisconsin will travel to Bloomington for a long-course styled meet Friday. The 50-meter long course pool is the same length used during Olympic events.

“It’s exciting to start the Big Ten season,” IU Coach Ray Looze said. “This long-course styled meet will allow us to really get some good practice to help us with Olympic trials.”

Consistency has remained a point of focus for the swimmers, and it is something Looze said can still be improved.

“We’re working on going back to perfecting the fundamentals and using practices to set up for the meets,” Looze said. “We need to continue to keep our goals for the end of the season right in front of our face to keep focused.”

IU Coach Drew Johansen said he is also hoping for a more complete performance from the group off the diving board.

“We’re always looking to perform equal to or better than our training,” Johansen said. “Our non-conference competition so far has prepared us very well for this part of the season. We have had many divers dominate on different events, but we are really looking for that consistency.”

After two tough losses against Auburn, both IU teams moved down in rankings this week, with the men at No. 10 and the women at No. 8.

In preparation, the teams have been focusing highly on relays and adding more difficulty to their dives.

“Our exchanges needed to improve after Auburn,” Looze said. “It’s hard because it isn’t an easy thing to do, but we have been working on going all out at full speed each time we go in and out of the wall.”

The men and women divers are also experimenting with new dives of a higher difficulty that will be used for the championships, Johansen said.

“This is the time now where we work on sorting out which dives we can execute the best and which ones don’t work for February,” Johansen said. “With the increase in difficulty, we will need complete performances from everyone.”

With only one meet under its belt, Wisconsin defeated Northwestern in a close matchup. The Wisconsin men are ranked No. 16, while the women are No. 21.

“Wisconsin hasn’t raced in four weeks so that will be a big advantage to them,” Looze said. “They will be fresh and ready to go, and we are taking both the men and women’s teams very seriously. They are a good team, but so are we. The bottom line is that we have to be very ready for them and we have to go out there and continue to compete.”

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