The decorated college career of senior breaststroker Lilly King will come to an end this weekend in Austin, Texas.
King is part of a group of 17 IU athletes who qualified for the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships.
The Hoosiers enter the NCAA championships with momentum, coming off of a Big Ten title in February. IU has had a top 10 finish in each of the past three years at the NCAA championships, including the team’s best-ever finish, seventh, in 2015. IU will be expected to finish within the top 10 once again and have a shot to top its 7th place finish.
King enters the meet coming off swimming the fastest time in history in the 100-yard breaststroke during the Big Ten championships. King did not taper before putting up her 55.88 second time, but she will for the NCAA championships.
As a result, the record she set in Bloomington may not last for long.
King is expected to win both the 100 and 200 breaststroke, completing her career sweep of the breaststroke events.
IU has five total swimmers qualified in the two breaststroke events. The depth that IU has in those two events will give it a chance to move up in the team standings as the team can rack up points.
While King may be the only IU swimmer expected to win her event, there will be other swimmers with a chance to medal and put up high point totals for the team standings.
Senior Bailey Andison has top six times in the nation in both the 200- and 400-yard individual medleys. While she might not be a favorite to win a title, Andison will be expected to be in the finals for both events.
IU also hit NCAA A cut times in all four relays it qualified for. Those relays are the 200- and 400-yard medley relay, as well as the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relay. IU was able to upset Michigan in relays during the Big Ten championships. It may not be able to do that again with more of the nation’s top team in the pool, but IU does have a chance to sneak onto the podium.
Senior diver Jessica Parratto is also qualified in all three diving events. Parratto won the platform dive championship in 2015, and placed second in 2017.
The NCAA championships will also provide an opportunity for the next wave of IU swimmers to make a statement. Five freshmen are part of the IU contingent. Noelle Peplowski and Mackenzie Looze are in the best position of the freshman to perform well in Austin this year.
IU appears to be just outside the main group of favorites. Stanford University, the University of Texas at Austin, Michigan and the University of California, Berkeley look to be the top teams heading into the NCAA meet. A record team finish of sixth or better certainly looks possible for IU.
The championships will take place from Wednesday-Saturday at the Lee and Joe Jamail Swimming Center on the campus of Texas.