Indiana Hoosiers Set For World Record-Breaking Relay Assault Today

BLOOMINGTON, Indiana, September 26. A few weeks ago, Swimming World reported on the new world records that FINA approved for the 200-meter mixed relays in short course meters. In that August 29 article, it was supposed that the Moscow stop of the FINA World Cup in October would be the first opportunity to see official world records set in that meet.

But our Spidey Sense was telling us some team was thinking about jumping the gun and making their names appear first in the record book. Our instinct was right, as the Indiana Hoosiers are having a blowout relay day today in an attempt to set eight relay world records.

In a special time trial at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center, Indiana will swim the short course meters mixed 200 medley relay and mixed 200 free relay and be the first official team to be listed as world record holders in these events. But they are not stopping there. The Hoosiers are also racing in the men’s and women’s 200 free relay and the men’s and women’s 200 medley relay and will be the first world record holders in those events as well. After a break to switch the pool over from short course meters to long course meters, the Hoosiers will be racing in the mixed 400 medley and 400 free relays.

Monday was the first official day that world records could be set in these eight relays, according to FINA. The world governing body for aquatic sports voted to allow world records in these events during meetings in Barcelona during the world championships in July.

How will Indiana stack the relays? It’s always easy to pick the swimmers for the single-gender relays, since you just put in your fastest freestylers for the free relay and your fastest stroke swimmers for the medley relays. But what about that mixed medley relay? Do you front-load the relay with the two men on backstroke and breaststroke, or hold them until the butterfly and freestyle? There are at least dozen combinations to be considered.

The only hindrance to these relays is that three of Indiana’s top swimmers will not be able to race. Eric Ress, Justine Ress and Brooklyn Snodgrass might be able to swim on a “B” relay today, but because FINA stipulates that all swimmers on a world record relay must have the same sports citizenship, the Ress siblings are ineligible because they swim for France. Snodgrass also is not part of the conversation because she is Canadian.

Hungarian Dorina Szekeres, Norwegian Siri Kristiansen and Egyptian Emad Abdelatif are also ineligible to race for world records today, as are Yianni Thermos and Marijn Van Zundert.

World University Games team members Steven Schmuhl and Cody Miller will be busy today, especially on medley relay duty. Miller was an NCAA finalist in the breaststroke events, and though Schmuhl is primarily a 400 IM swimmer, he’s bound to put together some strong 50s and 100s.

As for the women, distance star Lindsay Vrooman might have to tap into her hidden sprinting prowess today, and sprinter Kait Flederbach will be a top choice for all relay possibilities.

Since this article, Indiana has put out a press release with full details on the attempt:

As a result of rule changes enacted at its General Congress conducted in Barcelona in July 2013, Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA), the international federation governing aquatics, will begin recognizing eight additional relay world records beginning September 26, 2013. In an attempt to set those records, the Indiana University men’s and women’s swimming teams will hold the IU Relay Rally at 3:45 p.m. ET today at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center in Bloomington on the IU campus.

The Hoosiers will swim to set world records in the mixed gender versions of the 200 free relay and 200 medley relay, as well as single-gender versions of the 200 free relay and 200 medley relay at the short-course meters distance. For long course meters they will swim mixed gender 400 free and 400 medley relays.

“It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to set world records,” said head coach Ray Looze. “This competition symbolizes IU’s unwavering commitment to international swimming and our coaching staff’s resolve to always place IU swimmers in positions to enhance their world-class swimming experiences.”

In accordance with FINA rules, Indiana Swimming Inc., the local governing unit of USA Swimming, itself a part of United States Aquatic Sports (USAS) has sanctioned the event. USAS is recognized as the member federation of FINA for the United States of America. Lucy Duncan will serve as coordinator of officials for the meet.

The land surveying and civil engineering firm of Bledsoe Riggert & Guerrettaz, Inc. will measure the pool both before and after the races. Jen Hamilton (MS, LAT, ATC) will coordinate doping control under the direction of the U.S Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which will be on site to conduct the tests.

All suits worn by the swimmers are 2013 FINA approved swimwear.

Swimming for Indiana in the event will be senior Lindsay Vrooman, senior Kait Flederbach, junior Steve Schmuhl, freshman Jackson Miller, junior Matt Gerth, freshman Max Irwin, senior Stephanie Armstrong, freshman Olivia Barker, sophomore John Winck, freshman Logan Jastremski, freshman Audrey Scott, freshman Claudia DiCapua, senior James Wells, senior Cody Miller, freshman Gia Dalesandro, junior Allie Day, sophomore Tanner Kurz, sophomore Shelby Carroll, freshman Blaine Nichols, freshman Bailey Pressey, sophomore Haley Lips, junior Mike Hurley, sophomore Kyle Johnson, freshman Luke Lete, freshman Sam Lorentz, freshman Stephanie Marchuk, freshman Heather Hayes, freshman Grace Padgett, senior Guinevere Vanden Noort, sophomore Grayson Smith, and senior Michael Mohler.

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