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Both the Indiana men's and women's swimming and diving teams had comfortable victories against Kentucky on Oct. 4, 2023. (HN photo/Danielle Stockwell)
Both the Indiana men's and women's swimming and diving teams had comfortable victories against Kentucky on Oct. 4, 2023. (HN photo/Danielle Stockwell)

Indiana swim teams both finish in top 10 at NCAA Championship meets

As IU’s swim and dive teams completed their respective NCAA championships, take a look back at this program's dominating season

Seven months, 10 meets, hundreds of records and absolutely zero sleep. After a record breaking season, the Indiana swimming and diving teams finished their 2023-2024 season this past week at the teams’ respective NCAA championships. The IU women's team finished seventh at their NCAA competition between March 20-23 while the men’s team finished fourth this past week at their competition from March 27-30.

After four intense days at the Gabrielsen Natatorium at the University of Georgia, the IU women finished their dominating season after tying with their current NCAA record finish. This is now the third time in program history that the Hoosiers have placed seventh. Virginia won the title.

At first glance, seeing the words “seventh place finish” on paper might not look too glamorous. Yet, this team had one of the most impressive and dominating seasons in the country. As head coach Ray Looze stated in an interview with IU Athletics, “they’ll go down in history as one of the finest teams.”

The women finished with the Big Ten title along with a perfect dual meet record. Don’t be surprised if you see at least half of this IU team at the next Olympics games. Anne Fowler deserves a standing ovation for her record-breaking season. After snagging the IU dual meet record for the 3-meter competition earlier this year at her IU vs. Purdue meet, Fowler has serious Olympic potential. As Fowler’s IU journey comes to an end, her leadership in and out of the pool along with her athletic consistency will surely leave an impact on the IU program for years to come. Along with Fowler’s impactful season, this team had countless standout performances from each athlete in the pool. Divers such as Skylar Liu along with swimmers Anna Peplowski, Ching Hee Gan, Kacey McKenna, Kristina Paegle and Ashley Turak significantly helped this team perform at peak athleticism all season.

Members of the Indiana women's swimming and diving team laugh during IUs' meet against Cincinnati on Dec. 1, 2023. (HN photo/Danielle Stockwell)

Numerous NCAA performances are worth mentioning for this team. For back to back seasons, Gan and Mariah Denigan finished on the podium for their 1650 freestyle performances, finishing third and seventh, respectively. Alongside this podium, Ashley Turak battled it out with teammate Kristina Paegle during the NCAA 50-meter freestyle competition. Although Paegle previously had set the program record, Turak’s record breaking performance of 21.73 set new standards.

Peplowski finished seventh in the 100-meter freestyle competition, earning her All-America honors. The 400-meter freestyle relay team of Peplowski, Turak, Ella Ristic and Paegle finished eighth, setting a program record. Ten Hoosiers collected 31 All-America honors, tying the program record set a year ago.

The men’s season proved to be just as dominating as the women’s, after earning the team’s third consecutive Big Ten title along with an undefeated dual meet and tri-meet record this season. That success continued on a national stage at the NCAA Championships in Indianapolis, where the Hoosiers finished fourth. Arizona State captured its first-ever NCAA title.

Brendan Burns signals to teammates after a race during Indiana's dual meet victory against Purdue on Jan. 27, 2024. (HN photo/Danielle Stockwell)

Indiana diver Carson Tyler took home the NCAA platform title for the second consecutive year. Close behind was a second-place finish from Maxwell Weinrich and a seventh-place finish from Quinn Henninger.

On the swimming side of things, Mikkel Lee, Josh Matheny, Rafael Miroslaw, Maxwell Reinich and Jassen Yep had dominating seasons this year. Tomer Fankel also had a successful NCAA performance as well, especially in his 100 and 200 butterfly runs. Fankel became the first Hoosier in history to break a time below 44 seconds for his 100-meter performance, finishing in second place — less than a second away from an NCAA title.

Brendan Burns took his final curtain call this weekend after finishing on the podium in both the 200 backstroke (seventh place) and 200 butterfly (eighth place) competitions. Burns’ collegiate record includes three NCAA titles, 25 All American titles, along with 22 Big Ten awards. After leading the IU program to victory for his past five seasons, Burns has left a significant legacy on this program.

The men’s NCAA tournament finish proves that they remain one of the top programs in the country. Fourteen Hoosiers combined for 43 All-America finishes, the most since 1974. This is their second consecutive fourth-place finish along with their fifth top-five placement within the past six years.

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