Hawkeyes to Open Final Season in Field House Pool

Sept. 29, 2009

THIS WEEK — The Iowa men’s and women’s swimming team will host the annual Black and Gold Intrasquad Meet Saturday (Oct.3). The exhibition will take place at the Field House Pool beginning at 9 A.M.

SEASON PREVIEW — The 2009-10 season will be one of excitement, mixed with sentimental relfection for the University of Iowa swimming and diving team. It will be the Hawkeye’s final competitive season in their home Field House pool as the team will be moving into the brand new Campus Recreation and Wellness Center for the 2010-11 season. The new facility will include a 50-meter competition pool, a separate diving well, a leisure pool with lap lanes and 24,000 square feet of fitness space. “While we are extremely excited to move into our new facility, the Field House pool has so much wonderful history that needs to be remembered,” said Head Swimming Coach Marc Long. “From the Dolphin Shows to the military training exercises to the numerous outstanding swimming and diving performances. It is definitely a place on campus with a rich history.” The men will be led by senior Nick Divan, who leads the team in the 500 free (4:21.25), and 1,650 free (15:14.78) which rank fifth and fourth, on the Iowa’s all-time best perfromers list. The Hawkeye men will also return top swimmers, junior Max Dittmer and junior Sean Hagan. Dittmer is the teams top backstroker, 100 (49.41) in the 200 (1:48.33), ranking seventh and eighth in school history. Hagan is the teams lead breaststroker with his 100 (54.93) and 200 (1:59.89) both ranking fourth in school history. He also has the teams top 200 IM time (1:48.79), third fastest in school history. The women will be led by senior Christine Kuczek in the freestyle. She set the school record in the 100 free (50.21) , placing 19th at Big Ten Championships. She swam on the school-record setting 200 free (1:32.37) and 400 free (3:21.27) relays at Ben Ten meet. She also led the team in the 50 free (23.32), which ranks sixth in school history. Junior Verity Hicks will look to build on two successful seasons. Her best times in the 200 free (1.49.48), 500 free (4:53.94) and 1,000 free (10:22.39) rank third, sixth and ninth, respectively, on Iowa’s all-time best performers list. She was also on the 800 free relays that rank second (7:21.08-2009) and ninth (7:29.57-2008) in school history.

HEAD COACH Marc Long — Marc Long is in his sixth season as head coach for the University of Iowa swimming team. It’s his fifth 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 35th year as diving coach of the men and women’s teams at the University of Iowa. Rydze served as Team Leader for USA Diving at 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 spring of 2010. The facility will be at the corner of Burlington and Madison streets and is expected to cost $69 million.

FIELD HOUSE POOL — Iowa’s Field House 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.