Swim & Dive Notes: Iowa Hosts Hawkeye Invitational

University of Iowa women’s swimming and diving hosts the Hawkeye Invitational Thursday-Sunday, Dec. 1-3. Preliminary events start at 10 a.m. and finals begin at 5 p.m. (CT) at the CRWC Natatorium.

• Live results for the meet will be available on hawkeyesports.com (via the schedule page) and Meet Mobile.
• Fans can also follow the Hawkeyes on Twitter/IowaSwimDive for live meet updates.
• The meet will be live streamed on B1G+ (subscription required).

• Iowa kicked off the 2022-23 season with a 192-107 victory against UNI.
• The Hawkeyes enter the season returning seven athletes and welcoming 14 newcomers, including three transfers.
• Amongst the returners are junior divers Sarah Ballard and Claire Hartley and sophomore Makayla Hughbanks, who all qualified to compete in last season’s NCAA Zone D Diving Championships.

Sophomore Makayla Hughbanks posted career best and zone-qualifying scores off both the 1-meter (290.17) and 3-meter (317.70) springboards in Iowa’s Big Ten meet against no. 25 Minnesota. The Bettendorf, Iowa, native has taken home gold in three dive events in only three meets so far.

Senior Kennedy Gilbertson heads into the 2022-23 season after an impressive 2021-22 stint where she recorded a career best 51.28 in the 100 Free and led the Hawkeyes with top times in the 50 free, 100 free, 100 back, 200 back, and 100 fly.

The Hawkeyes bring back four swimmers, seniors Kennedy Gilbertson and Aleksandra Olesiak and juniors Maddie Black and Anna Pfeiffer, who led the team in all five relay squads during the 2021-22 season. Gilbertson was a part of four top teams, while Olesiak and Pfeiffer competed on three respective quartets.

Iowa has had fourteen individual wins amongst its freshmen and transfers. Denison University transfer Alix O’Brien has contributed to four of those victories, her latest coming from a career-best performance in the 1000 free against no. 25 Minnesota. Both the TCU graduate transfer Sheridan Schreiber and freshman Sabina Kupcova also have added multiple wins as well. Schreiber was Iowa’s second in its meet with the Golden Gophers, notching first place with a season-best time in the 100 breast.

Freshman and Levice, Slovakia, native Sabina Kupcova traveled to the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis to compete in the FINA World Cup. Kupcova raced in the 400 free, 200 free, and 200 individual medley for a chance to qualify for the FINA Championships.

Senior Kennedy Gilbertson took home gold in the 50 free and 100 back against Nebraska, and also won the 100 back against UNI in the season-opener. Gilbertson also contributed to Iowa’s winning 200 medley (1:45.34) and 400 free (3:29.89) relay quartets against UNI, each of which sitting atop the Hawkeyes’ relay leaderboards on the season. Senior Aleksandra Olesiak also has a 2022-23 individual victory under her belt. The Colorado native posted first place in 200 back against UNI.

• Nathan Mundt returns for his second stint with the Hawkeyes and he is the seventh head coach in program history. The Indiana native served as an Iowa assistant coach and recruiting coordinator from 2008-16 where he coached 33 All-Americans and 42 NCAA qualifiers and helped the Hawkeyes to six top 40 NCAA finishes and 115 school records.
• Diving coach Todd Waikel enters his 10th season with the program. Waikel has coached five All-Americans during his tenure in Iowa City and 15 NCAA Championship qualifiers.
• Mona Groteguth-Garcia also returns for her second season on the Hawkeye coaching staff, joining the Hawkeyes in 2021 following a two-year stint at TCU. She helped the Horned Frogs to back-to-back third-place Big 12 Conference finishes — the best for the program since 2012-13. Groteguth-Garcia also coached at the University of Indianapolis from 2017-19 and she swam collegiately at North Texas.

Iowa tallied 13 individual wins to beat in-state foe Northern Iowa 197-102 for the Hawkeyes’ first meet victory under head coach Nathan Mundt in the 2022-23 road season-opening matchup.

The Hawkeyes broke four Glen F. Henry Pool records in the 2022-23 opener at UNI, including Schreiber’s 100 breast (1:04.16) , Martin’s 50 free (23.55) and 100 fly (54.60), and the 400 free relay (Kupcova, Gilbertson, Pedersen, Martin).

Iowa will host Iowa State for the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series matchup on Dec. 9 at 6 p.m. (CT) in the CRWC Natatorium.