Just before IU's first meet of the season, on Oct. 21, sixth-year senior diver Jessica Parratto announced she wouldn’t participate due to a neck injury.
The 2016 Olympian and nine-time All-American missed the Hoosiers’ home opener, its meet on the road at Texas, the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and the first two days of the IU Invitational.
On the third day, she made her return to the diving board, and immediately made her presence felt.
Parratto won the platform dive, with an NCAA Zones qualifying score of 307.00. That score is the second best nationally of the season. The IU women’s diving team had yet to win a competition this season, but Parratto gave IU a win in her very first event.
Despite Parratto’s return, and a historic week from senior swimmer Lilly King, the No. 13-ranked IU women’s swim and dive team finished third at the IU Invitational, with an overall score of 1,421. No. 7 North Carolina State won the meet, and No. 8 Louisville came in second.
King dazzled in both the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke, winning both events and setting records in the process. In the 100-yard breaststroke, King won by two seconds, finishing with a time of 56.43 seconds. Not only is that the fastest time in the nation this season, and an NCAA A cut, but it is the third fastest 100-yard breaststroke time in American history.
It was about 0.2 seconds off of the fastest ever time, which was set by King.
In the 200-yard breaststroke, King won with a time of 2:03.60, which is also the fastest time in the nation this season, and an NCAA A-cut. The time is the sixth fastest in American history. But, her finals time wasn’t the only impressive stat King put up in the 200-yard breaststroke. In the preliminary heat of the event, King closed the final 25 yards with a blazing split time of 29.59.
King’s 200-yard breaststroke win came by nearly five seconds over the second place finisher, teammate Noelle Peplowski. In the event, four of the top five finishers were Hoosiers.
All in all, the Hoosier women had a total of six winners, four NCAA A cuts and 41 NCAA B cut hits. King alone had two of the A cuts in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke. The other two A cuts were the 200-yard medley relay team, and the 400-yard medley relay team, officially qualifying those groups for the national championships in Austin.
Outside of Parratto’s diving win and King’s two individual wins, senior Baily Andison and juinior Cassy Jernberg each recorded wins. Jernberg was a two-time winner, placing first in the 500- and 1,650-yard freestyle. In the former, Jernberg won with a time of 4:39.96, a two second edge on the rest of the field.
It is the eighth-fastest time in the nation this season.
Jernberg won the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 16:02.31, a time that was four seconds better than the second place finisher Tamila Holub out of North Carolina State. Jernberg’s time is the second fastest in the nation this season.
In the 200-yard individual medley, the Hoosiers took each of the top three spots, with Andison being on top as the winner. Andison posted a time of 1:55.70, the fourth fastest in the nation this year. She beat second place finisher, senior Christie Jensen, by just over a second.
Freshman Mackenzie Looze was third, just 0.04 seconds behind Jensen.
With the IU Invitaitonal wrapped up, the Hoosier now have a two-month break in competition. The Hoosiers will be back in action next on Jan. 17 for a huge Big Ten meet against the top-five ranked, and defending Big Ten champion, Michigan Wolverines.
The dual-meet will take place at the Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center in Bloomington.