Several Hawkeyes Compete At Olympic Trials

June 26, 2008

IOWA CITY, IA — Several Hawkeyes are set to or have already competed at the 2008 Olympic swimming and diving trials.

Two current team members, one incoming freshman and one former Hawkeye are set to compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials June 29-July 6 at the Qwest Center in Omaha, NE. Senior Nick Divan (San Juan Capistrano, CA) will compete in the 1,500-meter freestyle, sophomore Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, IL) will swim in the 100 and 200-meter freestyle events, incoming freshman Paul Gordon (Sioux Falls, SD) will swim in the 200-meter individual medley, and former Hawkeye Wil Whaley (Homeland, CA) will swim in the 200-meter backstroke.

Dwyer was Hawkeye men’s team MVP for the 2007-08 season, leading the team in 100, 200 and 500-yard freestyle races. Whaley led the Hawkeyes in the 50, 100 and 200-yard backstroke events.

“We’re excited to have such a strong representation of our Hawkeye Swimming and Diving teams participating in the U.S. Olympic Trials,” said Hawkeye Head Swimming Coach Marc Long. “The current list of participants includes current team members, incoming freshman, and post-graduates. We also have several athletes who have already competed in South African, New Zealand and Norwegian Trials. One person assured of a spot at the Olympics is veteran Diving Coach Bob Rydze, who is acting as U.S. Diving Team Leader through Beijing.”

Sophomores Richard Salhus (Plymouth, United Kingdom) and Verity Hicks (Pukekohe, New Zealand), and incoming freshman Danielle Carty (Caledonia, Ontario) also competed at the Olympic trials in their native countries. Hicks placed fifth in the 400 and 800-meter freestyle races, eighth in the 200-meter freestyle and 12th in the 100-meter freestyle at the New Zealand Olympic Trials in March in Auckland. Her performances qualified her for the 2008 Oceania Championships earlier this month in Christchurch, New Zealand. The biannual meet included national teams from New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, and other surrounding Pacific islands. Hicks placed fifth in the 800-meter freestyle, 12th in the 400-meter freestyle, 24th in the 200-meter freestyle, 26th in the 100-meter freestyle and swam on two top-five placing relays for New Zealand. Salhus competed at the South African Senior Nationals in Durban, South Africa, in April. That meet served as South Africa’s Olympic Trials. He competed in the 50, 100, 200 meter freestyle and the 100 meter butterfly. Carty participated in the Canadian Olympic Trials in April, swimming the 100-meter backstroke.

Former Hawkeye diver Nancilea Foster finished second on the three-meter springboard competition at the 2008 U.S. Diving Olympic Team Trials in Indianapolis last weekend. Foster, who competed for the Hawkeyes as Nancilea Underwood, scored 1002.85 points in the event. She will vy for the second individual Olympic three-meter springboard spot at the USA Diving selection camp in Knoxville, TN, from July 2-6. A native of Conroe, TX, Foster is the only five-time all-American in Iowa women’s swimming and diving history. She set the school and Fieldhouse Pool three-meter records, and the school one-meter championship record. She was also a 2006 district academic all-America second team honoree and a three-time academic all-Big Ten selection.

Two other incoming freshmen just missed the U.S. Olympic Trials cuts. Daniela Cubelic (Glenview, IL) missed the 100-meter backstroke qualifying time by .25 seconds, while Ryan Phelan (Cedar Rapids, IA) missed the 50-meter freestyle cut by .03 seconds.