The University of Iowa swimming and diving team will host the Hawkeye Invitational on Thursday through Saturday at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium. Preliminaries begin at 10 a.m. (CT) each day, diving starts at 1 p.m., and finals close out each day at 6 p.m. Admission is free.
The field includes: Iowa (M/W), Minnesota (M/W), Missouri State (M/W), Grand Canyon (M/W), South Dakota (M/W), South Dakota State (M), Southern Methodist (W), and Purdue (M). Nebraska, Omaha, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Northern Iowa, and Kansas will only send divers to the invitational.
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ORDER OF EVENTS
Thursday, Nov. 15
200-Yard Freestyle Relay
1-Meter Diving (W)
3-Meter Diving (M)
400-Yard Medley Relay
Friday, Nov. 16
200-Yard Medley Relay
3-Meter Diving (W)
1-Meter Diving (M)
800-Yard Freestyle Relay
Saturday, Nov. 17
400-Yard Freestyle Relay
Iowa’s junior class has stood out early in the 2018-19 season. Junior Joe Myhre leads the team in the sprint freestyle events with the top time in the 50 free (19.99), 100 free (43.98), and is a key part of each free relay. Will Scott also joins Myhre on these relays, while posting the second-best times in the 50 (20.43) and 100 free (44.49).
Michael Tenney leads the way in the fly and individual medley events, posting the fastest 100 fly (49.42) and 200 fly (1:47.94), while holding the second-fastest 200 IM (1:51.08) and 400 IM (3:56.62).
For the women, Hannah Burvill has been a dominant component in the lineup. Burvill leads the team in the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 500 free, 100 back, and 200 back. Allyssa Fluit falls directly behind Burvill with the second-best times in the 200 and 500 free. Thelma Strandberg adds to impressive junior finishes as the leading platform diver (240.20) with an NCAA Zone Standard.
This year marks the first Hawkeye Invitational since the 2015-16 season. The past two seasons Iowa has participated in the Ohio State Invitational, which functioned as the mid-season taper meet. This weekend will be the last competition for the men until 2019, when the team hosts Notre Dame on Jan. 12. The women will face Iowa State in an Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series dual Dec. 2, before heading into winter training.
SOPHOMORES LEAD UNDERCLASSMEN
Sophomore Anton Hoherz has been steady for the Hawkeyes this season, consistently diving to season bests, including a career-best score of 391.40 off the 3-meter springboard. He also posted a season-best score of 365.35 off the platform against Michigan and Denver on Nov. 3.
Sophomore Jayah Mathews has been equally as dominant for the women, earning five first place finishes in the past two meets against Minnesota, Michigan, and Denver. On Nov. 2-3, Mathews scored a 348.30 off the 3-meter and 306.40 off the 1-meter, a career-best. All of her performances were NCAA Zone Diving Standards.
Three sophomores on the women’s team — Sarah Schemmel, Lexi Horner, and Kelsey Drake — have top times in seven events. Schemmel has sprinted to the top times in the 50 and 100 free, Horner leads the way in the 100 and 200 breast, and Drake has the top marks in the 100 fly, 200 fly, and 200 IM.
• The seven Hawkeyes who participated in the ACC/B1G Challenge either tied their season bests or shattered previous, helping the Big Ten Conference to both men’s and women’s team victories. This was the first meet where all team members wore fastskins.
• The Hawkeyes swam to a number of season-bests, but fell to No. 7 Michigan in their double dual on Nov. 2-3 in Iowa City. The men’s team defeated Denver by a landslide, but were overcome by the Wolverines despite the team success. Junior Joe Myhre led the way with two individual wins in the 50 free and 100 free against Michigan.
• The Hawkeye men narrowly lost to No. 21 Minnesota after a near comeback after the 400 IM. Iowa finished the meet just 17 points back in the road loss. Junior Joe Myhre and freshman Anze Fers Erzen powered the comeback effort with individual wins.
• The Hawkeye women also tallied a fourth-place finish at the SMU Classic, finishing behind No. 8 Louisville, No. 11 USC, and No. 10 Virginia.
• Iowa opened its season a pair of dual victories at Michigan State with the men’s team posting a 193-98 win over the Spartans, while the Hawkeye women posted a 160-138 victory.
SPRINTERS SHOWING PROWESS
Iowa’s depth in the sprints has shown with impressive relay and individual finishes early in the 2018-19 season. The 200-free relay currently ranks No. 9 in the nation with a time of 1:20.30. The 400-free relay also ranks in the top 25 at No. 16. After his 19.99 swim against Minnesota, Joe Myhre launched to No. 11 in the country in the 50 free, as well as No. 17 in the 100 free with his 44.03 swim.
DIVING TO ZONE STANDARDS
Two men’s divers — Anton Hoherz and Will Brenner — and three women’s divers — Jayah Mathews, Sam Tamborski, and Thelma Strandberg — have posted NCAA Zone Diving Standard times this season. Hoherz has reached zone standards in all three events, Brenner, Mathews, and Tamborski have off the 1-meter and 3-meter, and Strandberg has off the platform.
MEN’S TOP FREESTYLE RETURNS
Iowa has a strong foundation returning in the freestyle events led by senior Jack Smith. In the 2017-18 season, Smith qualified for the NCAA Championships in three events – – 100 free, 200-free relay, and 400-free relay. Smith swam a lifetime best and school record in the 100 free (42.71). Juniors Will Scott and Joe Myhre also swam lifetime bests and were both members of the All-America 200-free relay (1:17.50) and 400-free relay (2:51.58). Myhre swam a personal best in the 50 free (19.84) while Scott swam a personal best 100 free (43.72). Senior Matt Kamin also swam to two personal bests in the 50 free (19.84) and 100 free (43.68).
RETURNING NCAA QUALIFIERS
Iowa returns seven NCAA qualifiers from a season ago. Four members of the men’s 200 and 400-free relays return, including juniors Will Scott and Joe Myhre, and seniors Jack Smith and Matt Kamin. They finished 16th overall in the 200-free relay (1:17.50) to earn All-America honors and placed 23rd in the 400-free relay (2:51.58).
The women also return two NCAA qualifiers in juniors Hannah Burvill and diver Thelma Strandberg. A two-time NCAA Championships qualifier, Strandberg comes off the 2017-18 season with the third-best platform performance in school history (248.80). The Norway native placed 35th at the NCAA Championships with a dive of 221.90. Burvill placed 31st in the 200 free (1:45.70) and 37th in the 100 free with a school record of 48.94.
The University of Iowa will serve as the host institution for the men’s 2019 Big Ten Championships. This will be the first time Iowa has hosted the meet since 2015. The Hawkeyes will also host the 2020 women’s Big Ten Championships and the 2021 men’s NCAA Championships.
IOWA SWIMMING AND DIVING HISTORY
Iowa was one of the first schools in the nation to compete on a collegiate level, and in 1937, the Hawkeyes competed at the first NCAA Championships. From 1937 to 1960, Iowa placed in the NCAA top 10 a total of 18 times, crowning nine NCAA and 22 Big Ten champions.