IU swim and dive continues winning ways on eve of winter break

Two different events yielded similar results as the Hoosier swimmers were back in action at both the AT&T Winter National Championships in Atlanta and the Miami Invitational in Oxford, Ohio, this 

IU came away with three event wins and four school records at nationals and five event wins in Oxford, Ohio.

“Overall, for the most part, it was what we wanted to do,” IU head swimming coach Ray Looze said. “It wasn’t perfect, but it was, you know, it’s definitely moving in the right direction.”

Senior Marwan Elkamash, junior Ali Rockett and sophomore Vini Lanza led the group at nationals.

Elkamash, a transfer from South Carolina, was spectacular for the Hoosiers and won both the 500 and 1,650-yard freestyle and broke both school records and pool records in the process.

“To have a transfer like him have such an immediate impact is really, really good,” Looze said. “He’s really happy. He’s thriving, getting better with every meet. Every week he improves. Marwan’s just been a wonderful addition to the team, and he’s fit right in.”

Lanza set school records in the 100 and 200-yard butterfly and had an NCAA A cut-qualifying time of 45.56 in the 100.

Glover was fourth in the 100-yard backstroke, third in the 200-yard backstroke and was on the first-place team in the 400-yard medley relay.

On the women’s side, Rockett continued to cement herself as a strong performer after struggling her first two years on campus. She finished third in 100-yard backstroke and joined senior Gia Dalesandro, and juniors Holly Spears and Delaney Barnard for a fifth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay.

“It just continues to show me that obviously that my hard work is paying off,” Rockett said. “Switching groups is really working for me, and it’s just building my confidence more and more each time I can go a best time or score more points for the team and contribute on different relays.”

For the swimmers who competed at Oxford, the meet offered an opportunity for some of those lower on the depth chart to step up and put themselves in contention for roster spots for the Big Ten Championships this spring.

Strong performers included freshman Brian Valedon, sophomore Joey Snodderly and freshman Shelby Koontz.

This weekend also marked the end of competition for most of the Hoosier swimmers this fall. They will have finals and a week off before a training trip to Bermuda prior to the start of the spring season.

“It’s going to be so fun just to get out of Bloomington for a little, be able to train outside will be nice,” Rockett said. “But also it will give us a good opportunity to be able to bond as a team,” Rockett said.

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