2005-06 Season Outlook

July 21, 2005

The University of Iowa has made a strong commitment to the swimming and diving program by combining the resources of the men and women’s teams and planning for the construction of a new state-of-the-art aquatic center. Marc Long, who enters his first season as head coach of both men and women’s teams, looks to match that commitment by dedicating himself and the staff to building a strong foundation for the program.

“We’re focused on establishing ourselves as a proud and competitive team,” said Long. “We’re committed to building a team focused on excelling at the Big Ten, National, and World Championship level. “

Long served as the interim head coach for the Iowa women’s swimming team last season and enters his first season as head coach of the men’s team.

In his first season with the Hawkeye women’s program, Long guided Iowa to its second-highest finish at the NCAA Championships (23rd) in school history. The Hawkeyes set five school and two Fieldhouse pool records in 2004-05, posting a 5-4 overall dual mark. Long previously served as assistant for the Hawkeye men (1998-2001) before joining the women in 2002-03. Long helped the women to their highest placing and point total (20th, 41) ever at the NCAA Championships in 2003. The Hawkeyes posted an 8-4 record that year.

Senior Cameron Dye

Long will be assisted by second-year coaches Frannie DeBord and Robert Pinter, as well as first-year assistant Cameron Loos. DeBord was a backstroker and student assistant coach for the Hawkeyes (1996-2000). Before returning to Iowa, DeBord served as an assistant men and women’s swimming coach at Ohio University, and an assistant women’s coach at Fresno State and Tulane. Pinter, a native of Romania, is entering his second season as an assistant coach after joining the men’s staff for the 2004-05 season. A University of Wisconsin alum, Pinter earned all-America accolades in the 200 butterfly and 500 freestyle in both the 1991 and 1992 seasons. He was also a 1992 Olympic Finalist in the 200 Butterfly. Coach Pinter was previously the co-head coach of the Badger Aquatic Club in Madison, WI. Loos enters his first season with the Iowa swimming program after many years of aquatics experience. He most recently served as a graduate assistant coach at Lehigh University while finishing his master’s degree, and a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Florida in 2004-05 while completing his PhD. He also held the title of U.S. Master’s coach and assistant coach for the Gator Swim Club in Gainesville.

Returning 11 letterwinners, the Iowa men’s team looks to improve on a 2004-05 record of 3-10 and a 10th place finish at the Big Ten Championships. Senior captain Cameron Dye anchors a squad that has their sights set on continued improvement. The Hawkeye women bid farewell to all-Americans Jennifer Skolaski and Lisette Planken but will continue to build around seniors Kelly Werner, all-American Nancilea Underwood and 15 returning letterwinners.

The butterfly events look to be strong for the Hawkeye men as Nathan Keeling, who led the team in the 100 (49.47) and 200 fly (1:50.21), returns after a strong freshman season. He placed 14th in both the 100 and 200 fly at Big Tens and recorded six top-five individual finishes for the Hawkeyes.

The return of junior Steven Medaglia and the addition of freshman James Dragon bolster the lineup. Dragon was a four-time automatic all-American as a prep and was crowned state champion in the 200 IM and 100 fly his senior year. He joins the Hawkeyes as an eight-time first team all-conference selection, seven-time conference champion and five-time all-state selection. Medaglia took top honors in the 200 fly against Michigan State and again against Wisconsin before suffering a season-ending injury. Sophomore Andrej Lenert will also be a contributor for the Hawkeyes in the butterfly.

Senior Kelly Werner

The Hawkeye women have a strong core of butterfliers returning for the 2005-06 season. Senior Kelly Werner, a native of St. Louis, MO, set the school record of 55.49 in the 100 butterfly at the Big Ten Championships. Werner will be backed up by senior captain Andrea Hemphill, of Lawrence, KS, who led the team last season with a time of 2:06.17 in the 200 fly. Junior Erin Petty and sophomore Mindy Schulte strengthen the butterfly.

The Iowa men will count on major contributions from sophomores Cade Ashby and Lenert. Ashby recorded nine top-five finishes last season and swam collegiate bests in the 200 back (1:52.34) at Big Tens and in the 100 back (51.94) at the Iowa Senior Championships. Lenert also recorded nine top-five finishes.

With the addition of three strong recruits and the return of Werner, the backstroke events look to be the forte of the Iowa women. Werner was a finalist in both backstroke events at the Big Ten Championships, taking eighth in the 200 (2:00.94) and ninth in the 100 (55.99). Alison Gschwend, a native of Champaign, IL, was a five-time all-American and a three-time scholar athlete award winner. She was runner-up in the 100 backstroke (56.5) in 2004, and took fourth in 2003. Chelsea Hoff, from Middleton, WI, was a two-time state runner-up in the 100 back, setting a school record in that event (57.65). The academic all-American also placed fourth in the 100 and sixth in the 200 back at the 2005 USS State Senior Championships. Leah Schwartz, a high school teammate of Hoff, is a two-time all-American and earned all-state honors in the 100 back her senior year after placing fourth at the state meet (58.59).

The potential for the Iowa men to be very strong is present with the return of Big Ten point scorers Dragos Agache and Paul Divan. Agache, a sophomore from Constanta, Romania, swam collegiate bests in the 100 (55.54) and 200 breast (2:02.87) at Big Tens, placing 10th in the 100 and 22nd in the 200. Those times rank fifth and eighth, respectively, on Iowa’s all-time best performers list. Agache recorded 15 top-five finishes last season, sweeping the breast events vs. Notre Dame and winning the 100 breast at Minnesota, at Northwestern and at the Iowa Senior Championships.

Sophomore Dragos Agache

A junior from San Juan Capistrano, CA, Divan placed 16th in the 200 (2:04.82) and 22nd in the 100 (57.26) at Big Tens. His 200 breast time swam in the prelims at Big Tens, ranks sixth on Iowa’s all-time best performers list. In 2004-05, Divan recorded 11 top-five individual finishes.

Junior Emmy Haeger leads the Hawkeye women in the breaststroke events. A Hales Corners, WI, native, Haeger is a top-10 all-time performer in the 100 breast at Iowa and returns with the second fastest time (1:06.52) from 2004-05. Hemphill and senior Katie Koenig round out the lineup.

Individual Medley
Senior Trevor Haley will lead the way in the individual medley events for the Hawkeye men. He returns with Iowa’s top time in both the 200 (1:52.04) and 400 IM (4:00.41). A native of Casper, WY, Haley placed 19th in the 400 IM (4:00.83) and 23rd in the 200 IM (1:53.33) at Big Tens and recorded 21 top-five individual finishes in last year. Long expects Medaglia, Lenert and Dragon to make significant contributions in the individual medley events as well.

With the loss of seniors Katelyn Eustis and Kristen Eide, the Hawkeyes will look to Hemphill, Werner, Gschwend and Hoff to contribute in the 200 and 400 individual medley. Hemphill returns the third-fastest time (2:07.92) from 2004-05 in the 200 IM while Werner has the fourth-fastest time (2:08.09).

Senior Katie Martin

The Iowa men have a strong group of freestyle swimmers in Dye, Ashby, sophomore Jeff Kubat, and newcomer Nick Divan. Long expects Dye to provide depth at the middle distance freestyle events, while Kubat and Ashby will strengthen the sprinting events. Divan, the brother of Hawkeye junior Paul Divan, is a highly decorated swimmer and high school All-American from California. He will have an immediate impact in the middle and long distance events.

Like the Iowa men, the Hawkeye women return a handful of talented freestylers. The senior duo of Katie Martin and Karen Kelly anchor the sprint events. Martin, of Des Moines, IA, swam a collegiate-best 100 free time of 50.86 at the Iowa Senior Championships, ranking third on Iowa’s all-time best performers list. She tallied 22 top-five individual performances last season. Martin returns the second-fastest times in both the 50 and 100 free. Kelly ranks 10th on Iowa’s all-time best performers list with a 100 time of 51.37 and swam a collegiate-best 200 (1:52.82) at the Big Ten Championships. The Galesburg, IL, native recorded nine top-five finishes and swam on four winning relays last season. Martin and Kelly both swam on the team-leading 200 and 400 free relays. Sophomore Emily Bensink and freshmen Emily Hoefler and Heather Hall will add depth.

Senior Erica Noah and junior Jaclyn Sarna lead the way in the middle and long distance events. Noah, of Charles City, IA, returns the second-fastest 500 (5:04.31) and 1,000 free (10:26.81) times. She recorded 13 top-five individual finishes last season. Sarna, a native of Lake Geneva, WI, led the team last season in the 1,650 free. Long expects incoming freshman Ashley Dell to make a splash in the distance free events as well. A native of Lake Forest, IL, Dell won the 1,650 free (17:12.7) at the 2005 Speedo Championships, placing seventh in the 500 free (5:04.82) and eighth in the 1,000 free (10:24.3). She also won the 500 free conference title as a junior and placed second as a senior.

Senior Trevor Haley

The Hawkeye men are looking for someone to match the efforts of three-time all-American Timo Klami, who ended his Hawkeye career in 2004. Newcomers Adam Walker and Andrew DeLashmutt could fit that bill. Walker, of Sinking Spring, PA, took fourth at the state diving meet and was a finalist in the 2005 national YMCA championships. DeLashmutt, of Omaha, NE, was the 2005 state diving champion.

All-American Nancilea Underwood returns for her senior season after a record-breaking campaign in 2004-05. After a 2004 summer season in which she placed fourth on the three-meter at the U.S. Olympic Trials, the Spring, TX, native capped off her junior season with a second-place finish on three-meter and a third-place finish on one-meter at the NCAA Championships. Her second-place finish on three-meter was the best finish in Hawkeye women’s diving history. She holds the school and Fieldhouse pool record of 348.25 on three-meter and recorded a collegiate-best 317.35 on one-meter, which ranks second on Iowa’s all-time best performers list. The academic all-Big Ten team member was named Big Ten Diver of the Week twice in 2004-05. She was also named to the 2005 World Championships team by USA Diving.

Meghan Sievertsen, of Cedar Rapids, IA, and Amber Horner, of Dubuque, IA, will back Underwood in the diving events. Sievertsen was a three-time state and conference champion as a prep. The team captain and academic all-American as a senior earned first-team all-state honors three times and first-team all-metro honors four times. A three-time Kennedy High School diving MVP, Sievertsen has recorded the third highest six-dive score and the third highest state diving competition score in state history. Horner was sixth at the 2005 state meet.