Iowa women’s swimming and diving works toward improvement

Iowa swimming and diving is approaching a slow time in its season.

Winter break is around two weeks away for Hawkeye swimmers, but they have not completely wrapped up their fall schedule yet.

The men are not scheduled to compete until after break. The women, on the other hand, have one more dual against Iowa State to continue the Cy-Hawk Series on Dec. 7.

It will be an interesting meet for the Hawkeyes because the women’s team showed a great deal of improvement at the Hawkeye Invitational Nov. 15-16. The improvement has caused the Hawkeyes to set some achievable goals for themselves for the upcoming dual.

“First, we just want to beat them,” sophomore Lexi Horner said. “We just want to get closer as a team and be more supportive of each other. We have been working on cheering people on all the time and being more of a team.”

Some of the women who took over the Hawkeye Invitational for Iowa should be the same who could step up against Iowa State. The Hawkeye women had impressive performances during the invitational and broke a few records.

The first performance that stands out was that of sophomore diver Jayah Mathews, who earned Big Ten Diver of the Week honors following her performance at the invitational. It marked Mathews’ second career accolade.

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The honor was well-deserved. She swept the springboard events at the Hawkeye Invitational, finishing the 1-meter (315.75) and the 3-meter (365.75). Both scores gave Mathews a NCAA Zone qualify standard score, and her score on the 3-meter was a Hawkeye Invitational record.

Junior Hannah Burvill also posted a standout performance. On the first day, she had no problem breaking school records.

She swam lights out in the 50-free preliminary to post a qualifying time (22.62). The time broke the previous mark by one one-hundredth of a second. She then upped the ante by breaking her own record during her lead leg of the 200-free relay the same day (22.55).

“To be able to put up the times that we are doing already this season is pretty great, and that is a confidence boost for us all,” Burvill said. “I didn’t see breaking the school record coming, to be fair. I’ve moved from doing distance training to more sprint race training with the hope of getting more endurance and sprint speed, so clearly that is working for me. I think we need to continue with the energy we had and bring that into the rest of our events coming up.”

Burvill was not the only swimmer who broke a school record. Sophomore Kelsey Drake swam a school record and career-best time of 53.12 in the 100 fly, breaking the record by 0.18 seconds.

“I am just really proud of how they all stepped up,” Iowa head coach Marc Long said. “We are just really happy to see how they raced and want to see what they will continue to do.”


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