IOWA CITY, Iowa — A victory in the 400-freestyle relay clinched the University of Iowa women’s swimming and diving team’s 156-144 win over Northwestern on a Senior Day Saturday afternoon at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.
The Hawkeye men made it 2-for-2, prevailing in a tight Big Ten dual, downing the Wildcats, 166-134. Northwestern featured a pair of Olympian distance freestylers in Valerie Gruest Slowing and Jordan Wilimovsky.
“I was proud of our athletes stepping up in this situation,” said UI head coach Marc Long. “It was Senior Day and that can be emotional. The men and women stepped up and rose to the challenge. It was a lot of fun and an exciting finish.”
The Iowa women led 143-140 with the outcome in the balance heading into the final event of the dual. The quartet of Hannah Burvill, Meghan Lavelle, Allyssa Fluit, and Carly O’Brien edged Northwestern to win the race and dual. Iowa finished with a time of 3:23.91; the Wildcats were second in 3:24.18.
“I had to do it, I didn’t give myself an option not to beat the girl next to me,” said O’Brien. “I knew I could, it all came together at the end. I am glad the first part of the relay helped me out.”
The win was the fourth of the day for Burvill, a freshman from England. She was also part of the winning 200-medley relay (1:41.13) along with Lavelle, Emma Sougstad, and Mekenna Scheitlin and swam to individual victories in the 100 (50.68) and 200 (1:49.26) free events.
Sougstad also posted victories in the 100 breast (1:02.11) and 200 IM (2:03.38), Lavelle won the 100 back (55.49), and Scheitlin the 100 fly (55.29). Junior Shea Hoyt was victorious in the 200 breast with an NCAA “B” qualifying time of 2:15.95.
The Hawkeyes went 1-2 in the 200 breast with Sougstad finishing as the runner-up in 2:16.10, and Iowa went 1-2-3 in the 100 fly with Tereysa Lehnertz finishing second in 55.80 and Kelly McNamara in third in 55.92.
In the diving well, sophomore Jacintha Thomas was the runner-up off the 1-meter, finishing with a 273.10, while senior Calli Head was second off the platform with a score of 230.35.
On the men’s side, the Hawkeyes won seven events and posted three 1-2 and two 1-2-3 finishes.
Jerzy Twarowski swam to a pair of individual wins in the 100 (48.51) and 200 fly (1:49.18), while sophomore Kenneth Mende won the 100 back (49.61), Jack Smith the 100 free (45.48), Thomas Rathbun the 200 back (1:48.26), and Will Brenner the 1-meter springboard (343.35).
The Hawkeyes posted the top three times in the 100 free and 200 back to take control of the dual. Iowa got a runner-up finish from Joe Myhre (45.56) and a third-place showing from Jackson Halsmer (46.09) in the 100 free, and Forrest White (1:48.72) and Mende (1:48.99) were 2-3 in the 100 back.
Iowa closed out the meet in winning fashion, posting a victory in the 400-free relay. Smith, Will Scott, Myhre, and Halsmer sprinted to the win in 3:01.62.
The Hawkeyes close out their dual slate Feb. 3, hosting Northern Iowa and Western Illinois at 6 p.m. (CT).