Sept. 29, 2008
THIS WEEK — The Iowa men and women’s swimming team will host the annual Black and Gold Intrasquad Meet Saturday. The exhibition will take place at the Fieldhouse Pool beginning at 10 A.M. It is open to the public at no charge. SEASON PREVIEW — Head Coach Marc Long and his staff are looking toward experience veterans and some new faces to lead the 2008-09 Hawkeyes.
“It’s an exciting time in our program’s history as we continue the construction of the new Campus Recreation and Wellness Center (CRWC) and prepare for a successful season,” said Long. “The future Aquatic Center, due to open in 2009, is a welcomed new home for the men and women’s teams. It will provide a world class facility to train and compete for our current and future talented swimmers and divers.”
The men will be led by senior James Dragon, who was second on the team in both the 100 (49.48) and 200 (1:52.67) butterfly last year. The Hawkeye men will also return their top two IM swimmers in sophomores Alex Dragon (400-4:03.79) and Sean Hagan (200-1:52.27). Junior Nick Divan, who led Iowa in the 400 in 2006-07, also returns after a redshirt season.
Divan, who redshirted last year and competed in the Olympic Trials this summer, will also help in freestyle events. In 2006-07, Divan led the team in the 500 (4:29.30), 1,000 (9:27.84) and 1,650 (15:42.67).His best time in the 1,650 ranks ninth in school history.
The women will be led by senior Alison Gschwend in the backstroke. Her best 200 time (2:02.07) ranks fourth in school history and her NCAA provisional qualifying time of 55.39 in the 100 ranks second. She won the 100 twice and the 200 five times last season, in addition to placing 14th at the Big Ten Championships.
Junior Christine Kuczek will look to build on two successful seasons. She set a school record in the 100 (50.55) and was a part of both freestyle relays. She also led the team in the 200 (1:50.50) which ranks seventh all-time and has a 50 time (23.35) that ranks sixth. Kuczek also placed 11th in the 100 freestyle at the Big Ten Championships.
NEXT WEEK —The Iowa men and women’s swimming team will begin their regular season at home, hosting Truman State on Friday, October 10th. The meet is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. in the Fieldhouse Pool.
HEAD COACH Marc Long — Marc Long is in his fifth season as head coach for the University of Iowa swimming team. It’s his fourth as head coach of the combined program. During his tenure as head coach of both programs, 10 school records have fallen and 39 Hawkeyes have provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships.
DIVING COACH Bob Rydze —Bob Rydze is in his 34th year as diving coach of the men and women’s teams at the University of Iowa. Rydze returns to Iowa this season fresh from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China where he served as the Team Leader for USA Diving. During his tenure with the Hawkeyes, Rydze has coached 31 all-Americans, nine Big Ten and one NCAA Champion.
CAMPUS RECREATION AND WELLNESS CENTER —Ground was broken for the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center in October 2007. The facility will serve as the new home for Iowa Swimming and Diving upon completion in the fall of 2009. The facility will be at the corner of Burlington and Madison streets and is expected to cost $69 million.
FIELDHOUSE POOL– Iowa’s Fieldhouse Pool was built in 1927 and was, at the time, the world’s largest indoor swimming pool. In 1979, the pool underwent a $400,000 renovation. Diving platforms were added in 1980. The pool is 150 feet long and 60 feet wide, with eight lanes. Diving facilities include a pair of one and three meter springboards, plus five and ten meter platforms.
IOWA SWIMMING HISTORY & TRADITION– Iowa was one of the first schools in the nation to compete on a collegiate level and competed at the first NCAA Championship. From 1937 to 1960, Iowa placed in the NCAA top ten 18 times, crowning nine NCAA and 22 Big Ten Champions.