No. 15 Indiana women’s swim and dive team returned to action Saturday evening for the Big Ten Championships at Soderholm Family Aquatic Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Riding a wave of confidence following wins against Purdue and Evansville to end January, Indiana took third place at the meet with a team score of 1100, only falling behind Michigan and Ohio State.
Michigan finished with a score of 1185, and Ohio State took home the Big Ten Championship with a score of 1303.
Head coach Ray Looze said he was thrilled with the way his team performed.
“The girls dug deep to hold off Wisconsin and finish third in the conference,” Looze said. “I’m proud of the way the girls conducted themselves.”
The Hoosiers will return to Bloomington with two first-time Big Ten Champions.
Sophomore diver Tarrin Gilliland won the platform dive, posting a career best score of 382.80 and becoming an NCAA Zone Qualifier. Freshman swimmer Brearna Crawford won the 200 breaststroke with a career best time of 2:06.86. Freshman swimmer Anna Peplowski narrowly missed becoming a champion, finishing second in the 200 backstroke with a time of 1:53.30.
Indiana’s high finish at the competition has Looze excited about next year’s team.
“I’m super excited about this freshman class,” Looze said. “We don’t lose anybody from this team, so hopefully with the incoming freshman, we can be a real force.”
Peplowski, one of the young faces to whom Looze was referring to, was recently named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Anna’s older sister Noelle is also on the team, and has been a key contributor all season for the Hoosiers, specializing in freestyle.
Looze commended Anna Peplowski’s achievements after the meet.
“Anna Peplowski deservedly won Big Ten Freshman of the Year,” Looze said. “They picked the right person.”
Peplowski wasn’t the only Hoosier to bring home an award this week, as senior diver Kayla Luarde was named Indiana’s Big Ten Sportsmanship award recipient earlier this week as well.
With the Big Ten Championships behind them and the season waning to a close, Indiana will return to the pool on March 7 for the NCAA Zone Championships in diving and then finally the combined NCAA Swim and Dive Championships on March 16.