Indiana Daily Student

Women's swimming and diving travels to West Lafayette for 2018 ACC/Big Ten Challenge

<p>Then-freshman, now senior, Lilly King practices Dec. 7, 2015, in the Counsilman-Bilingsley Aquatic Center. King will be on the Big Ten team this weekend in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.&nbsp;</p>

Then-freshman, now senior, Lilly King practices Dec. 7, 2015, in the Counsilman-Bilingsley Aquatic Center. King will be on the Big Ten team this weekend in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. 

The Hoosiers and Boilermakers will be teammates in West Lafayette, Indiana, this weekend for the Atlantic Coastal Conference/Big Ten challenge.

IU's women's team will send five swimmers to compete in the event — seniors Lilly King, Baily Andison, Christine Jensen and Shelby Koontz, and freshman Ileah Doctor. 

With King, the Big Ten will look to have control of the breaststroke events. King has the nation’s second fastest time in the 100 breaststroke with a 59.46. 

A 59.03 time record by Ida Hulkko of Florida State is the top time. However, Hulkko is not on the Seminoles’ roster for the ACC/Big Ten challenge. King is also fourth overall in the 200 breaststroke. There is one ACC swimmer ahead of her, Mariia Ashtaskina of Louisville, who will be in West Lafayette.

Andison will likely compete in the breast stroke as well as individual medleys. Jensen swims both the butterfly and individual medley, while Koontz swims the butterfly and freestyle. Doctor focuses on freestyle events, especially sprints. 

There will also be other top swimmers in the Big Ten taking part in the meet, including 2018 Swimmer of the Championships Beata Nelson of Wisconsin, and 2018 Freshman of the Year Kristen Romano of Ohio State. Ally McHugh of Penn State, and Siobhan Haughey and Catie DeLoof of Michigan, will also be among the top Big Ten swimmers competing. 

The Big Ten women will be coached by Mike Bottom of Michigan. His assistant will be Wisconsin's Kelly Kremer.

For the ACC, Mallorey Comerford of Louisville is the top swimmer. Comerford is the defending ACC Female Swimmer of the Year and a two-time NCAA champion in the 200-yard freestyle. Comerford has the nation’s top time in the 100-, 200- and 500-yard breaststroke.

Other top ACC swimmers include defending ACC Freshman of the Year Mariia Astashkina of Louisville, and defending ACC Diver of the Year Ashlynn Peters of Virginia Tech. 

With so much talent in the pool in West Lafayette, there are bound to be a number of very competitive events. 

The middle distance freestyle events are where Comerford will face her biggest competition, in the form of Haughey, who won Big Ten Swimmer of the Week for her performances against Iowa and Denver on Nov. 2 and 3. 

The backstroke will have Nelson go up against two top-five finishers in the backstroke from last season in Megan Moroney of Virginia and Elise Haan of N.C. State. 

The No. 9 IU team will send its best out to Purdue to represent the team. The team is coming off of its disappointing meet in Austin where it went 0-2, falling to 2-2-1 on the season, and is looking to gain some momentum back. The five Hoosiers competing are also well-rested, not having competed since the tri-meet at Texas ended October 20. 

Both days of the event will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network. The Saturday events will start at 5 p.m., and can be seen through BTN Plus. 

On Sunday, the competition starts at 10 a.m. and will be broadcast live on the main Big Ten Network channel.

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