March 17, 2012
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AUBURN, Ala. — University of Iowa freshman Becky Stoughton earned All-America honors and set a new school record in the 1,650 free with her ninth place finish at the 2012 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving NCAA Championships.
“It was a great performance by Becky today,” said UI head coach Marc Long. “She crushed the school record and placed ninth to earn All-America honors.”
Stoughton posted the school record after knocking off over 10 seconds to her previous best time and school record (16:14.14), as she touched the wall in 16:03.42. She is the first Hawkeye to ever earn All-America honors in the event.
“At the beginning of the meet I kind of struggled mentally,” said Stoughton. “Marc and Nate helped me get back to where I needed to be mentally before my race today, and it helped out. Today definitely was better than the first couple days. It was the 1,650, so it hurt pretty bad but it came together in the end.”
The Peoria, Ill., native is the highest swimmer NCAA finisher for the Hawkeyes since Jennifer Skolaski placed 14th in the 100 back at the 2005 NCAA Championships. The last swimmer to place higher than ninth place was Skolaski in 2003 when she placed eighth in the 100 back.
“People have been giving me a lot of praise for being the first freshman to advance to the NCAAs since 2002, which is nice, but I haven’t really thought about it much,”said Stoughton. “I’m sure it will hit me later.”
Stoughton’s time (16:03.42) ranks ninth all-time on the Big Ten top performers list. Two Big Ten opponents finished ahead of her at the NCAA Championships. Ashley Steenvoorden of Minnesota finished fourth with a time of 15:44.56, which ranks first in Big Ten history. Indiana’s Lindsay Vrooman placed sixth overall with the Big Ten’s fourth fastest time (15:56.85).
Stoughton and the Hawkeyes return to action on April 14 when they host the annual Alumni Meet at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. The meet is set to start at 11 a.m.