Hawkeyes Head To Big Ten Championships

Feb. 23, 2009

THIS WEEK — The Iowa men’s swimming and diving team will compete at the Big Ten Championships, Thursday-Saturday at West Lafayette, IN. All events will be held at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center on the Purdue University campus. Event prelims are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. (CT) each day, while event finals are set to start at 6 p.m. (CT) each evening.

All-session tickets are $35 for adults and $20 for students (age 3-college). Tickets for the prelims are $8 for adults and $5 for students, and are $8 for adults and $5 for students for the finals each day. Tickets are available from the Purdue Athletic Ticket Office at 800-497-7678.

A portion of the three-day event will air March 7 at 11 a.m. (CT) on the Big Ten Network.

2008-09 REGULAR SEASON WRAP-UP — The youthful Hawkeye men’s team posted its best season record since 1995 with a 7-1 mark this season. The Hawkeyes went 4-1 in the Big Ten and were undefeated (4-0) at the University of Iowa Field House Pool. Iowa’s only loss was at #10 Minnesota in November.

The Hawkeye underclassmen have been big producers this season, posting 10 of the 14 top individual swimming times and manning 18 of the 20 relay legs. Sophomore Conor Dwyer earned Big Ten Men’s Swimmer of the Week honors twice and has not lost a race since the start of 2009. Junior diver Frank Van Dijkhuizen also earned Big Ten Men’s Diver of the Week honors this season.

2008 BIG TEN REVIEW — The Hawkeyes placed ninth with 187 points at the 2008 Big Ten Championships in Ann Arbor, MI. Hawkeye freshman Conor Dwyer led the Hawkeyes with a fifth place finish in the 200 free (1:36.44) and swam on the 800 free (6:33.95), 400 free (3:00.68), 200 medley (1:31.44) and 200 free (1:22.92) relays that placed seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively, at the meet. Freshmen Richard Salhus and Sean Hagan, sophomores Wil Whaley and Brad Jones, junior Andy Miner and senior Nathan Keeling also swam legs on the placewinning relays. Whaley placed 10th in the 100 back (49.31) and set a school record 1:46.11 in the 200 back for 15th place. He also swan the lead leg of the 400 medley relay that placed 10th with a season-best 3:22.48. Miner, sophomore Matt Ryan and junior James Dragon also swam on that relay. Hawkeye divers Frank Van Dijkhuzen and Michael Gilligan placed 12th on one-meter (312.45) and platform (297.80), respectively.

IOWA IN BIG TEN HISTORY — Iowa has won three Big Ten team titles in school history (1936, 1981, 1982), and crowned 104 individual conference champions (76 in individual events, 20 in relays and eight in diving).

Three Hawkeyes have earned Swimmer of the Championships honors – Artur Wojdat (1991, 1992), Rafal Szukala (1994) and Ales Abersek (2000). Wojdat was named Big Ten Swimmer of the Year three times (1990, 1991, 1992), while former Hawkeye John Davey earned the honor twice (1987, 1988). Diving coach Bob Rydze has bee named conference diving coach of the year three time (1985, 1986 and 1995).

Two Hawkeye divers top the list of all-time Big Ten top performers. Timo Klami scored a 625.60 on one-meter (11 dives) in 2003, while Randy Abelman posted a 448.20 on three-meter (6 dives) in 1981.

Iowa won its last Big Ten individual swimming titles in 2000 when Ales Abersek took the 100 (47.68) and 200 fly (1:44.93) crowns and Jay Glenn won the 200 free (1:36.84). Iowa’s last Big Ten diving champion was Timo Klami on three-meter (596.40) in 2003. Iowa’s last Big Ten relay champion was the 200 free relay of Krzystzof Cwalina, Tim Schnulle, Jim Mulligan and Rafal Szukala (1:19.69) in 1995.

HEAD COACH Marc Long — Marc Long is in his fifth season as head coach for the University of Iowa swimming program. It’s his fourth year as head coach of the combined programs. During his tenure as head coach of both programs, 10 school records have fallen and 45 Hawkeyes have provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships. Under Long, the men’s team has an 18-17 record, while the women’s squad has a 31-28 mark.

As a Hawkeye swimmer (1987-89), Long was a multiple NCAA finalist, six-time all-American and three-time Big Ten Champion, winning two conference titles in the 100 fly and one as part of the 400 free relay. He was voted a team captain in 1989 and helped lead the Hawkeyes to a Big Ten runners-up finish, and their highest team placing (eighth) in modern day history at the NCAA Championships. Long swam on Iowa’s Big Ten and NCAA record setting 200 free relay that year.

Long is assisted by Kirk Hampleman (Auburn, 2002), Frannie Malone (Iowa, 2000) and Nathan Mundt (Tampa, 2001).

DIVING COACH Bob Rydze — Bob Rydze is in his 34th year as diving coach of the Hawkeye men and women’s teams. Rydze returns to Iowa this season fresh from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, where he served as Team Leader for USA Diving. During his tenure with the Hawkeyes, Rydze has coached 31 all-Americans, nine Big Ten and one NCAA Champion.

IOWA SWIMMING HISTORY & TRADITION — Since 1917, the University of Iowa swimming and diving program has been rich in 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 10 18 times, crowning nine NCAA and 22 Big Ten champions. In its 93-year history, the Iowa men’s team has produced 17 Olympians, 26 NCAA champions and 382 all-Americans.

Iowa’s facility, the Field House Pool, was the world’s largest indoor pool when it was dedicated in January 1927. Head Coach Dave Armbruster, who founded the team in 1917 and coached until 1957, designed the facility. The Field House pool was the birthplace of the butterfly stroke. Armbruster and swimmer Jack Sieg collaborated in its development in the 1930s. The acceptance of the new stroke encountered considerable controversy and was first used Feb. 25, 1935, in Iowa City in the medley relay in a dual against Wisconsin. The relay included Dick Westerfield, Sieg and Adolph Jacobsmeyer. Sieg’s time was five second faster than the existing 100-yard world record.

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.

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