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With the season quickly nearing its conclusion, Indiana University of Pennsylvania women’s and men’s swimming will host the Crimson Hawk Dual Challenge Friday and Saturday.
IUP will compete against Bloomsburg University and Gannon University in the the final competition before the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championships next month.
Multiple swimmers made note of the importance of this last meet.
“As a team, we are keeping focused on our goals and training through the meet,” Brandon Hopkins (junior, exercise science) said. “Given that this is our last meet before we head into our taper season, we are taking it a step at a time and preparing for the PSACs.”
“This is our final showing to the rest of the conference that we are a tough team and that we are a team to beat at the championship meet next month,” Allyson Mitidieri (senior, nutrition/dietetics) said. “That being said, the team is ready to prove that this weekend.”
Multiple swimmers have not met PSAC qualifying times, and this dual meet will be a chance for them to do so.
“Heading into the dual meet this weekend, it is being held in a higher regard considering some of the team has not made the PSAC meet,” Stephen Long (senior, engineering) said. “Since it is the last meet before our championship meet, the people who have not made it will be swimming their hardest to make it.”
“These team members have rested for this meet and are in a good position to pull out best times,” Mitidieri said. “I think that the whole team is excited to see what they can do. I am assuming that the other two teams have some swimmers in the same boat so there should be some fast swims and exciting races this weekend.”
For Long, Mitidieri and 12 other seniors, this will be the last time competing in the John A. Pidgeon Natatorium, which Mitidieri believes will bring some added motivation to all the soon-to-be graduates.
“I think we can expect some fast swims from our senior class since I am sure that they will all want to leave their final marks in our home pool,” she said.
From an overall team perspective, the women’s squad will look to finish the season a perfect 5-0 in scored competition while the men will aim to finish 3-1. Bloomsburg’s women and men are seeking to close out this year 4-2 and 4-3 respectively, while Gannon’s women and men will try to finish 8-4 and 4-5.
Expect both schools to come in with the intention of making waves. Bloomsburg and Gannon find themselves on opposite spectrums, as Bloomsburg’s squads are both riding three-meet winning streaks, while Gannon’s teams have lost two in a row.
Both streaks could spell trouble for the Crimson Hawks, as Bloomsburg will surely have added motivation to close out their seasons with wins on their tallies and Gannon will most certainly want to end their funk and gain some momentum in preparation for the PSACs.