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Hoosiers stay undefeated with dominant road victories



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Then-freshman Bruno Blasovic prepares to dive into the pool for the men's 100 freestyle finals. The men's swimming and diving team beat Purdue, 206-92, on Jan. 20.  Matthieu Picard Buy Photos

Multiple IU swimmers dominated their relays and placed high up on the nation’s record finishing times during their two-day, tri-meet victories against Texas and Florida. The Hoosiers are now 5-0 and have won 27 consecutive dual meets.

IU led No. 8 Florida, 119-67, and No. 1 Texas, 114-72, following Friday night, the first day of competition, in Austin, Texas. The team’s success continued into Saturday where IU pulled out 234-119 over Texas and 227-126 over Florida.

“To be able to come out and get a resounding victory against a 14-time champion like Texas was reassuring and indicative of our team’s hard work,” Coach Ray Looze said. 

On the first day of the tri-meet, the Hoosiers achieved the current fastest 400 medley relay time in the country at 3:11.38. Sophomore Gabriel Fantoni, senior Ian Finnerty, senior Vini Lanza and sophomore Bruno Blasovic were nearly an entire second ahead of the second-place Longhorns and stood almost three seconds ahead of the Gators in that race.

“Before the season began, we had a clear idea of wanting to win the Big Ten and another National Championship,” Blasovic said. “We knew we had to start strong and continue our relay and individual success on this trip.” 

Individually, Fantoni took first in the 100 backstroke with a finish of 47.87, while Finnerty placed at the top of the 100 breaststroke with a 53.49. Additionally, Lanza’s time of 1:45.27 in the 200 butterfly was the second-fastest in the nation, as was freshman Michael Brinegar’s 9:00.14 placement on the 1,000 freestyle. 

On the men’s 3-meter dive, senior James Connor once again stood on top of the competition with a finishing score of 445.15. The next closest finishers were Jordan Windle and Grayson Campbell of Texas, with scores of 429.95 and 362.80, respectively.

“James is a pro,” head diving coach Drew Johansen said. “He sets a great example for the other guys and really encourages them to push themselves.”

On day two, Connor also won the 1-meter dive, scoring 423.75. This was his fourth dive victory of the season, retaining his undefeated status.

Johansen said Connor will be a key factor in motivating the divers heading into November’s IU invitational in Bloomington.

“His experience and his presence means a lot to our younger guys,” he said. “James’ 400-plus scores, his determination and willingness to push himself helps keep our guys in the top of their game.”

For the swimmers, Lanza took first in the 100 butterfly with a time of 47.14. This tied the fastest time in the nation for the 2018-19 season.

The Hoosiers also saw success in their Saturday afternoon relays. Blasovic, Lanza, senior Zach Apple and senior Mohamed Samy took first in the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 2:54.78. Additionally, Blasovic, Fantoni, Finnerty and Lanza dominated the 200 medley with a finish of 1:27.76.

“Relays dictate what you are like as a team, and our success today is a great illustration of where we are at right now,” Looze said. 

IU's next competition will be Nov. 10 and 11 in West Lafayette for the ACC/ Big Ten swimming and diving challenge. 

“Until then, we are going to get healthier and continue improving on our culture and turns in practices” Looze said.

Along with Looze, Blasovic said he will continue to improve his health and the team will work on building up its culture. 

“Hopefully my shoulder will get stronger, and we will work even harder in practices towards chasing another title,” he said.

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