Their first meet of the season was almost six months ago in an opener against Cincinnati. Back then, the Hoosiers weren’t sure how the season would go. All they could do was dream.
IU set its sights on continuing to improve throughout the season. And now, with one last competition for some members of the team, the improvements still haven’t stopped.
Beginning on Thursday, a collection of IU athletes will partake in the Speedo Sectionals, a four-day meet held in Geneva, Ohio.
IU Coach Ray Looze calls this meet the last chance.
It is the last full team event for the 2015-16 season but some athletes may qualify to continue their season at the next level.
Looze already has a handful of athletes who have accomplished this and set their sights on competing in their countries’ respective Olympic Trails, but he is looking for more.
“Those who didn’t have a chance to compete at NCAA’s will have one last shot, one last opportunity,” Looze said. “This is the last chance for us to pick up any Olympic Trial qualifying times, and we’re looking to do just that.”
The Speedo Sectionals have a focus on individual performance, so team scores will not be recorded. The swimmers will be competing against the clock to try to prove they are good enough for a shot at the trials.
Compared to the high-level of intensity at the NCAA’s, this meet will feel a little more like a club affair, with not as much pressure, Looze said.
For those who did not compete in the NCAA Championships, this is the final meet to show off any improvements they might have made.
Moving forward, Looze will continue to train with the swimmers who have qualified for the Olympic Trials.
For the United States, the trials begin June 26 and continue through July 3. Freshman Lilly King and sophomore Blake Pieroni are among the Americans looking toward to the event.
“I also pride Indiana University for encouraging a diverse and culturally aware student body,” Looze said. “That is something that our team and our program represents as well, and we are very fortunate to have such a high level of internationally talented athletes.”
Sophomore Kennedy Goss has her sights sent on Canada, while freshman Laura Morley could be moving in that direction of competition in swimming for the Bahamas.
In addition, sophomore Ali Khalafalla could represent Egypt, freshman Vini Lanza with Brazil and junior Anze Tavcar from Slovenia round out the international prospects for the men’s side.
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