Slow start sinks swimmers and divers

NIU women’s swimming and diving squad was slow out of the starting blocks Saturday against the University of Iowa in Anderson Hall Pool.

The Hawkeyes took advantage of that slow start, as well as their depth, on the way to an 81-58 victory over the Huskies.

Iowa jumped out to a 7-0 lead after the opening 200-yard medley relay and held a 23-2 advantage after three events. A strong finish down the stretch by the Huskies lessened the gap, but not enough to overcome the Big Ten Conference’s Hawkeyes.

“We fell short of my expectations as a team,” NIU Coach Mike Burt said. “We practiced so much better during the week, and my expectations were for a higher finish.”

The first-year coach did point out sophomores Beth Mendyke and Lynette Zeitz, along with freshman Jenny Wendell and said they are continuing their strong performances.

Mendyke captured first place in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 55.40. She also swam on NIU’s winning 200-yard freestyle relay unit. Zeitz placed second as the lone Huskie entry in the 200-yard butterfly, and placed third in the 200-yard individual medley. Wendell’s top performance came in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:13.74. She also helped the 200-yard medley relay team to a runner-up placing with the clocking of 1:56.86.

The Huskies, 4-3, close out their four-meet homestand Feb. 7 at 1:30 p.m. against Iowa State University at NIU’s Anderson Hall Pool.