Indiana University hosted the University of Cincinnati on Thursday night in Bloomington in each team’s season opener of the 2015-16 collegiate season. The Hoosiers came out on top of the Bearcats on both the men’s and women’s sides, as the men’s final score was 157 IU to 135 UC and the women’s final rested at 186 IU to 105 UC.
Of his squad’s performances, Indiana Head Coach Ray Looze commented post-meet that the outcome was “a good step forward.” He continued, “[this meet] is going to give swimmers a very realistic view of where they stand at this point in the season.” Looze indicated that his swimmers have only engaged in ‘formal training’ for about a week and a half coming into today’s meet.
Key swims of the night on the men’s side included Ryan Gordon stepping up for the Hoosiers and winning the 200 backstroke in a time of 1:51.48, then finishing 2nd in the 100 distance in 51.21. His teammate Joseph Lane earned the 1back win in 50.82. Sam Lorentz nabbed the win in the men’s 50 freestyle in the only sub-21 time of the night, a 20.71. Hoosier Blake Pieroni won the 100 breaststroke in 56.03, although Looze said the Hoosier sophomore was aiming for a sub-56.
Bearcat Chris Bready had a strong showing, taking home a double win in the 500 and 1000 freestyle races, touching in 4:33.55 and 9:17.16, respectively. His Cincinnati teammate Ryan Depietro also twice dominated the Hoosier field, earning victories in the 200 butterfly (1:52.37) and 400 IM (4:01.73) events.
The women saw strong action on the side of the Hoosiers, with junior Stephanie Marchuk kicking off the individual events with a win in the 1000 freestyle, touching in 10:01.99.
Haley Lips was the star of the show, winning the 200 freestyle (1:48.80), 200 butterfly (2:00.14) and 500 freestyle (4:55.74) races for a trio of individual wins on the day. For perspective, Lips swam both the 200 free and 500 free events at last year’s Quad Meet held in Ann Arbor, which saw competition from Indiana, Louisville, Michigan and Texas in late October. At that meet, Lips scored a relatively early-season time of 1:45.85 in the 200 free and 1:59.38 in the 200 fly, so her 2:00 at the onset of this season certainly bodes well for the Hoosier captain.
Young freshman standout Lilly King nabbed the 200 breaststroke win in a time of 2:20.87. King comes to Indiana with potential point-scoring power, having been a previous national age group record holder in the 100 breaststroke, as well as having struck gold in the meters version of the event at the Junior Pan Pacific championships in 2014. King is also a 2015-16 U.S. national team member.