Iowa Swimmers Prepare for Purdue on Friday

Nov. 3, 2003

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THIS WEEK: The University of Iowa women’s swimming and diving team will host this Friday. Diving will start at 11 a.m. in the Field House swimming pool, followed by the swimmers at 2 p.m. Purdue won the Indiana Intercollegiates, and defeated Miami of Ohio last week in a dual match.

LAST WEEK: Sophomore Karen Kelly has produced a personal best of 52.36 in the 100 free this season to eclipse her old record of 53.61 that she set at last year’s Big Ten meet. “She’s been a wonderful surprise for us so far this year,” said Coach O’Keeffe, “she had a lot of raw talent when she came in last year, but I never expected her to come to light so quickly. I think a lot of it comes from her desire to work so hard.”

QUOTING O’KEEFFE: “Purdue is always one of our toughest competitors. They seem to always start strong each year, and we’ve started off very well this year too. If all goes well it will be a very close meet. It’s going to be hard for us to come back after the diving competition, but that’s something we’ll have to do all year if we want to be competitive. We did it the first meet against Michigan State, so it’s not impossible. We had last weekend off but it’s always a lot easier for us to get excited when we swim at home, and I think we’ll be ready.”

HEAD COACH: Garland O’Keeffe is in her third season as head coach of the Hawkeyes. She has a school and career record of 20-18, 7-13 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.