Sept. 25, 2015
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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.
By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Sophomore Tereysa Lehnertz is holding her head a little higher heading into her second season with the University of Iowa women’s swimming and diving program.
Part of Lehnertz’ growth comes from her familiarity of knowing what to expect in year two as a Hawkeye. Her confidence also took a big jump after competing in the 2015 Pan American Games for Puerto Rico last summer in Toronto.
“I am a lot more comfortable this season,” said Lehnertz. “It helps that it is my second season and I know the ropes, but also having this summer under my belt helps out a lot. I know I can make it through tough sets and tough meets.”
Lehnertz enjoyed a solid freshman season with the Hawkeyes, posting the second-fastest times on the team in the 100 and 200-yard butterfly. She was a member of the record-setting 400-medley relay (3:38.68), her 200 fly time of 2:00.84 was the third-fastest in program history, and she had the seventh-best times in the 100 fly (55.31) and 200-IM (2:02.37).
After battling through her initial nerves on the international stage, Lehnertz earned a pair of night swims at the Pan Am Games, advancing to the “B” finals in the 100 and 200-meter butterfly. She finished fourth in the “B” finals of the 200 (2:18.05) and sixth in the 100 fly (1:02.02).
“It was nerve-wracking and scary at first,” Lehnertz said. “I got used to the crowd and cameras after the first day, and then I settled down.
“The racing was a lot faster than I thought it would be. I was surprised and excited to make it back in both events.”
UI head coach Marc Long has seen a different swimmer in Lehnertz since training began this fall.
“Anytime you get that international exposure or high-level competition in the offseason you’re going to come in holding your head a little higher,” said Long. “I’ve seen a lot more confidence.
“It’s a subconscious transfer that has happened. We have seen it as coaches (in training), and I’m sure she will feel a little better and more confident stepping up on the blocks in this league.”
Lehnertz’ taste of international competition has altered her expectations for 2015-16.
“I have a lot of specific goals,” said Lehnertz. “I have cuts I need to go for the Puerto Rico National Team, and I am a lot more focused this year. All of that transfers over into Iowa swimming.”
Long sees Lehnertz’ drive to get better.
“She’s in some tough events for our team and in the Big Ten,” said Long. “She’s stepping up, working hard, and is always willing to do the extra steps to get better.”
The Hawkeyes open the 2015-16 season this weekend, facing Illinois Chicago at the Flames Natatorium in Chicago. Friday’s action begins at 4 p.m. (CT), while Saturday’s start time is 10 a.m.