For the UNI swimming and diving team, the 2017-2018 season has come and gone in the blink of an eye.
The Panthers wrapped the regular season up on the road in Brookings, South Dakota against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits on Jan. 26. This meet was initially scheduled for October but was rescheduled due to mechanical issues in the Jackrabbits’ pool.
This meet was also the first for the Panthers against their former head coach Doug Humphrey, who coached at UNI from 2012 to 2017 before leaving for SDSU. Under his leadership, Humphrey has led the Jackrabbit men’s team to a 3-1 dual record and a 5-1 record for the women’s team.
The purple and gold closed their final dual meet out with a strong 169-131 victory to end the season with a dual meet record of 7-4-1.
“We had a pretty good meet on Friday [Jan. 26],” said head coach Nick Lakin at a press conference held on Jan. 29. “The last couple of meets, we’ve been getting off to a little bit of a slower start, so we moved some people around and really talked about it and worked it out to get a really good start. And we did that.”
Sophomore Katie Taylor dominated her events, taking first place in the 200 freestyle, 200 backstroke and the 200 individual medley.
Junior Madison Rinaldi snuck into first place ahead of Taylor by 0.74 in the 100 backstroke, while Crystal Florman and senior Molly Lembezeder went 1-2 in the 50 freestyle.
In the 500 freestyle, sophomores Kylie Engstrom and Jordan McCullough took the top two spots, finishing just three seconds apart. Junior Alyssa Deuso finished second in the three-meter springboard, scoring 243.68, while senior Hannah Brummel took third in the one-meter contest, posting a 230.54 score.
With the regular season in the books, the Panthers now have their eyes set on the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Championships, set to run this Wednesday through Saturday at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City.
Of the 17 events planned for competition at the MVC Championships, UNI currently holds the top times in four events.
With the biggest meet of the year now upon them, the Panthers expect to swim and dive their hearts out and climb their way to the top of the conference podium.