A second place Big Ten performance by the IU women left the team and IU Coach Ray Looze wanting more.
The No. 6 IU women are back in the pool and beginning to gear up for NCAA Finals, but Looze said he had to shift gears a little bit.
The other half of his team still has work to do in the pool at the men’s conference finals.
Competition in the Big Ten Championships begins Wednesday night in West Lafayette, Indiana, with the conclusion of the meet Saturday night.
Again, IU will have to face a tough Michigan team if it has any hope of bringing home a Big Ten title.
“We’re going to come out with a tenacious will to win that is uncommon to mankind,” Looze said. “Will it be enough to overcome Michigan? We’ll find out.”
The Wolverines, 2015 men’s Big Ten Champs, are setting out to win their sixth consecutive Big Ten Championship.
Last year, Ohio State finished second, followed by IU in third.
With two of the men’s top divers competing this year for spots on the 2016 Olympic Team, IU continues to look for ways to create depth in its roster. Junior diver Joshua Arndt and sophomore diver Cody Coldren have done a good job filling these roles so far, Looze said.
Their performances have the potential to earn some much-needed points for the Hoosiers as they begin the four-day meet.
Last weekend, a group of swimmers from the men’s team traveled to Purdue to compete in the First Chance Invitational.
Coach Looze and his staff needed one more look to determine the two athletes who would complete IU’s roster for the conference meet.
The final spots went to freshman freestyle swimmer Joey Snodderly and freshman Wilson Beckman, who competes in multiple events.
They earned the chance to travel back to Purdue to swim for the Hoosiers this weekend.
“I give a lot of credit to them,” Looze said. “I think they have the ability to score some points for us, so that will be another key in creating that depth.”
With a team as talented as this one, leaving some good athletes behind is all part of the process, Looze said.
But he’d rather have too much potential than not enough.
The story remains the same as it has all year.
The Hoosiers’ key to success for the men will be to have a high percentage of people competing at their highest levels.
The men’s team needs to score points wherever they can find them, whether it is through the championship A finals or the other finals.
“It’s not so much the number of athletes you bring, but its what those athletes can do,” Looze said. “As long as we get guys to come out and swim and record as many personal bests as they can, we’ll see if we can’t manage to shake Michigan a little bit.”
Wednesday night’s event finals include the 200-yard medley relay and 800-yard freestyle relay.
Preliminary heats begin Thursday and continue Friday and Saturday as well. Championship finals will then follow each night as the Hoosiers hope to bring home a collection of medals.
“Bottom line is we just need to have all cylinders rolling,” Looze said. “I think our men have the potential to be a deeper team than our women, so we’re just going to have to see how it all plays out. We are more than ready to go.”
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