Big Ten Season Continues at Northwestern

Jan. 19, 2010

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The University of Iowa women’s swimming and diving team will travel to Evanston, IL to take on Big Ten rival Northwestern this weekend. The event will start Saturday at 11 a.m.

“We need to continue to work hard and get back into a routine with school starting. Just getting back into a normal schedule will help our team get back in a routine. We are pretty excited to get on the road again and swim against a very good Northwestern team.”

Veronica Rydze was named the Big Ten Conference’s diver of the week for her efforts Jan. 16 against Illinois. The Iowa City native claimed first-place in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events.

Rydze captured her first win in the 1-meter with a collegiate best score of 274.96. She went on to take the top spot in the three-meter event with a score of 296.93. Both scores were good enough to qualify for NCAA consideration. The honor is Rydze’s first career weekly laurel and the first by an Iowa diver in 2009-10.

The Hawkeyes hosted Big Ten rival Illinois Jan. 16. It was an intense meet that came down to the last two events. Iowa captured the victory with a score of 150.5-149.5.

Senior Christine Kuczek had three individual first-place finishes. In the 200 free she was neck-and-neck with Illinois’ swimmer the entire race before pulling ahead the last length for the win (1:53.00). Kuczek went on the win the 50 free with a time of 24.00. Not long after the 50 free she got back in the pool to win the 100 free with a time of 51.82.

The meet came down to the 400 freestyle relay, which had the Field House crowd on their feet chanting “Let’s Go Hawks” and “Hawkeye relay” before the event started. Senior Verity Hicks, Cubelic, Tour and Kuczek teamed up for an exciting race that ended with a victory for the Hawkeyes. The team recorded a time of 3:28.39 to edge the Illini (3:29.77).

Junior Veronica Rydze was the top finisher in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving event. She earned a collegiate best score of 274.96 in the 1-meter. Rydze later went on to capture the top spot in the 3-meter with a score of 296.93. Freshman Mary Sue LeMay took fifth-place in both the 1-meter (215.79) and 3-meter (205.81), while senior Brittany Logan placed sixth in the 1-meter (200.18) and seventh in the 3-meter (172.35).

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.

Bob Rydze is in his 35th year as diving coach of the men’s and women’s teams at the University of Iowa. During his tenure with the Hawkeyes, Rydze has coached 31 all-Americans, nine Big Ten and one NCAA Champion. Rydze served as Team Leader for USA Diving at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.

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.

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 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.