Oct. 16, 2003
Iowa City, IA – THIS WEEK: The Iowa women’s swimming team looks to start off the season with a win Saturday when it hosts Kansas and UNI. The meet will start at 2 p.m. at the Field House swimming pool.
LOOKING BACK: The Iowa women will look to improve on a successful 2002-03 season. Iowa placed eighth at the Big Ten championships, and sent divers Nancilea Underwood and Lisette Planken, and swimmer Jennifer Skolaski to the NCAA championships. All three competitors earned all-American honors.
QUOTING O’KEEFFE: “We’re all very excited about this meet. Everyone is ready to get the season started, even though it is a week earlier than usual. Kansas is going to be a tough team to beat, they are very comparable to us so it should go back and forth a few times. UNI is not a team to be overlooked, they compete very well in certain events, the breastroke being one of them. There’s going to be a lot of good competition there on Saturday so it should be fun.”
2003-04 OUTLOOK: The women’s team returns four seniors, nine juniors, nine sophomores, and five freshmen. Senior Christie Hooper looks to continue her successes from the 2002-03 season, which included 30 top five finishes and 10 wins. Michelle Bagi and Lisa Haunz will bring strength to the backstroke and butterfly. Junior Jennifer Skolaski will try to break additional records this year as she did last season in the 100 backstroke and 400 individual medley. Skolaski also notched 18 wins and 33 top five finishes. Leading the sophomores are Kelly Werner and Andrea Hemphill. Werner led the Hawkeyes in the 100 butterfly last season, while Hemphill lead in the 200. Newcomers for the Hawkeyes include freshmen Emmy Haeger, Erin Petty, Robin Samples, Jaclyn Sarna, Joyce VanKeulen, and Katie Martin, a sophomore transfer from Wisconsin.
HEAD COACH: Garland O’Keeffe is in her third season as head coach of the Hawkeyes. She has a school and career record of 18-16, 6-12 in the Big Ten. O’Keeffe has coached three honorable mention all-Americans, three NCAA qualifiers and a Big Ten champion. The Hawkeyes have also shattered 19 school records in the last two years. O’Keeffe gained US National Team coaching experience over the summer when she was selected as an assistant coach for the National Team Distance Camp at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
DIVING COACH: Bob Rydze is in his 28th year as diving coach of the men and women’s teams at the University of Iowa, and is the dean of Big Ten swimming and diving coaches. Rydze has coached three Olympians, Randy Ableman (United States), Ricardo Camacho (Spain) and Tomas Rossa (Poland). Rydze came to Iowa in 1975 from the Dad’s Club diving team in Houston, TX. He also coached at Eastern Michigan from 1971-73.