Sophomore diver James Connor said IU needs to make improvements now in order to have success at the end of the season.
Improvements from the first meet of the year would prove very beneficial for the Hoosiers.
IU swim and dive has experienced early success this year. It kicked off its season with a men’s team sweep of perennial powers Florida and Texas and a split by the women’s team that included a win against Florida. The first College Swimming Coaches Association of America poll awarded the men’s team a No. 1 ranking for its performance and the women’s team a No. 12 ranking.
“Those programs, Florida and Texas, have been the royalty of men’s swimming and diving for a long, long time,” IU Coach Ray Looze said. “So it just builds confidence.”
This week, IU will take its promising start on the road to Lexington, Kentucky, where they will take on Kentucky and Tennessee in a battle of three top-25 teams.
“Kentucky is a really good up-and-coming program, and Tennessee has been really good for a long time,” Looze said. “We expect some really good racing on Friday for sure.”
On the men’s side, the IU divers will look to continue their hot start after Connor, senior Michael Hixon and junior Cody Coldren finished first, third and fifth, respectively, in the 3-meter dive. The trio posted NCAA-qualifying scores.
“As a team we’ve really galvanized and coached each other,” Connor said. “The program is heading in a great way.”
For the women, King continued her reign of dominance in the breastroke after finishing first in the 100-meter long course event and the regular 100 yard, the latter with a NCAA B-cut time of 1:01.19. Junior Ali Rockett will also look to continue her strong start after finishing third in the 100 yard backstroke last week with a NCAA B qualifying time of 55.03.
“It was a real confidence booster,” Rocket said. “It just showed me that my hard work from conditioning and throughout the season has really been paying off.”
IU is poised for another quality result against Kentucky, No. 18 in men’s and No. 21 in women’s, and Tennessee, No. 13 in men’s and No. 11 in women’s.
“Another two programs that really do it right,” Looze said. “They’re going to be ready to go, and we always have a target on our back being Indiana.”
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IU will look to build momentum as it heads to the final stretch of the season.
The No. 6 Hoosiers will face No. 4 Texas and No. 19 Florida in a two day meet in Austin, the site of this year’s National Championships.
IU has defeated both Texas and Florida for three straight seasons.