Coach Laura Seibold-Caudill said her team likes the natatorium at IUPUI. Over the course of the House of Champions Invitational over the weekend, the women's swimming and diving team made its presence known, winning the invitational by almost 200 points.
"We had so much depth, that's what won it for us," Seibold-Caudill said.
Based on times from this season, Ball State University was predicted to win by roughly 70 points. The Cardinals came into the meet motivated to defend their championship and did, scoring 843 points and finishing ahead of second place Ashland University by 174 points.
"The key to the meet was we came out fired up and ready to go on the first day," Seibold-Caudill said. "We needed to jump out front on the first day to keep the momentum up and we did just that."
Seibold-Caudill said the seniors on the team needed to be leaders, and that is what they did this weekend.
Mary Ehresman won both the 500-yard and 1,650-yard freestyle events. Senior Lisa Maertin placed second in both the 1- and 3-meter diving events. IUPUI's Chen Ni, who was a qualified for the NCAA Championship meet last year, won both events. Emily Karwoski finished second in both the 200- and 400-yard individual medley.
"They all help lead the team in their own way and when you put them all together, it works," sophomore Elizabeth Spilman said. Spilman finished second to Ehresman in the 1650-yard freestyle and third in the 500-yard freestyle.
The Cardinals' large margin of victory was made even more impressive because of the week of training that led up to the meet. Seibold-Caudill did not tone down practice before the meet. Seibold-Caudill said Ashland backed down on their practices and shaved for the meet.
The win has boosted the Cardinals' confidence going into this weekend's Doug Coers Invitational, which the team will host.
"I think our confidence is growing. The times that were swum and where our times are compared to last year is bringing us confidence," Spilman said. "We have some challenging goals that we want to accomplish, and I think we are starting to believe that we can do them."