The University of Iowa women’s swimming & diving team may have won its battle for reinstatement (even if the men’s team didn’t), but that doesn’t mean that the program wasn’t still devastated by the initial decision to cut the team.
The school is only expecting to have 12 athletes on its 2021-2022 team – 8 swimmers and 4 divers. That includes just one freshman, diver Makayla Hughbanks. A spokesperson for the school has confirmed that the 12 athletes listed publicly are all that the team is expecting on the varsity roster this season.
Number of athletes on Iowa women’s swimming & diving roster, by year:
- 2021-2022: 12 – 8 swimmers & 4 divers
- 2020-2021: 24 – 22 swimmers & 2 divers
- 2019-2020: 34 – 30 swimmers & 4 divers
- 2018-2019: 24 – 18 swimmers & 6 divers
- 2017-2018: 32 – 26 swimmers & 6 divers
- 2016-2017: 31 – 25 swimmers & 6 divers
Based on the currently-public rosters for each season.
While 2018-2019 saw a smaller roster, in general, Iowa has had a low-30s roster, which is a similar size to most of their Big Ten opponents.
But for next season, as they try to rebuild in the same beautiful facility but with a new coaching staff (Nathan Mundt and Mona Groteguth-Garcia) and no men’s team, the Hawkeyes will be significantly short-handed.
Iowa finished 8th out of 13 teams at last year’s Big Ten Championship meet. While the return of 20-point diving scorer Sam Tamborski as the team’s only senior helps, only 49.5 of the team’s 216 individual points from last season will return. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be in last place at Big Tens – Illinois only scored 15 individual points at Big Tens last season – but even with no Michigan State, it will be hard for them to crack the Top 10 again in a deep conference.
Note: Rutgers, which was last at last year’s Big Ten Championships, only had a few athletes competing because of COVID-19. Rutgers is expecting 15 swimmers and 6 divers this season – still a small roster by their standard, but that will push them down the rebuilding path further.
Of note, among the four swimmers who were named plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the University of Iowa that said cutting the program would infringe upon Title IX, none are returning. Sage Ohlensehlen graduated and is attending law school at SMU. Christina Kaufman, a would-be junior, has not announced her plans. Alexa Puccini is a junior on the roster at Arizona, while school record holder Kelsey Drake also graduated.
Both a spokesperson for the University of Iowa and new head coach Mundt declined to discuss the roster, or plans to regrow it, with SwimSwam.
Iowa women’s swimming & diving roster, 2021-2022 season:
- Sam Tamborski, Sr., Diving
- Ariel Wooden, Jr., Free/Fly
- Anna Brooker, Jr., Free/Back
- Payton Lange, Jr., Free/Back
- Aleksandra Olesiak, Jr., Breast/IM
- Kennedy Gilbertson, Jr., Back/Free/Fly
- Georgia Clark, Jr., Back
- Zoe Pawloski, Jr., Back
- Maddie Black, So., Free
- Sarah Ballard, So., Diving
- Claire Hartley, So., Diving
- Makayla Hughbanks, Fr., Diving