Feb. 5, 2010
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IOWA CITY, IA- The University of Iowa men’s swimming and diving team hosted Western Illinois for the final dual meet to take place in the historical Field House Pool. The pool has been around for 83 years so it was a bittersweet night as the team ended an era. The Hawkeyes honored nine seniors at the event as they ended their dual meet careers as Hawkeyes. The team had a great crowd cheering them on and came out with a big victory over Western Illinois (162-52).
“It is bittersweet,” said Head Coach Marc Long. ” Personally I competed here and there are a lot of memories and history just from the butterfly being invented here. Our team gets it and its emotional. I’m still trying to say that the Alumni Meet is the final meet but it’s starting to get to me in the end. We had a great crowd tonight and it was a lot of fun.”
The Hawkeyes swam unique events at the meet instead of their regular event format. The team swam 50-yards of all four strokes and swam a few races that are normally swum at dual meets. It was a fun and energetic meet as the team and the fans cheered on one final dual meet at the Field House Pool. The Hawks must of been excited and pumped up because they won all 10 events plus diving.
The Hawkeyes started off the meet by blowing away the competition in the 400 medley relay. The team of freshman Byron Butler, senior Matt Ryan, sophomore Paul Gordon and freshman Jordan Huff teamed up and posted a time of 3:25.62, which was almost 20-seconds faster than Western Illinois second-place finishing time (3:46.63).
Iowa finished in the top four places in almost every single event. Senior Brian Farris placed first in the 200 free with a season best time of 1:42.89. Gordon swam in the 50 fly and swam a quick time of 22.60. Ryan won his last individual race as a Hawkeye in the 50 breast. He recorded a time of 26.86.
There was a 10-mintue break before the last event of the night. Head Coach Marc Long had the team huddle together during the break to take a moment and remember the historical pool where they all made so many memories. The 200 free relay was the last event of the night but the men had the honor of being the last heat to take place in the Field House Pool. The whole crowd stood up for the race and chanted “field house” with the swimmers as the meet came to a close.
Sophomores Ryan Phelan and Duncan Partridge teamed up with Huff and Junior Sean Hagan for the 200 free relay. The Hawkeyes once again blew away the competition, winning the event by over 10-seconds with a time of 1:22.05.
Iowa’s divers Frank Van Dijkhuizen and Mike Gilligan are both seniors and competed in their last dual meet as a Hawkeye. Gilligan placed first in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events. He received a score of 300.75 in the 1-meter and 331.05 in the 3-meter. Van Dijkhuizen placed second in both of the events, earning a score of 289.20 in the 1-meter and 315.80 in the 3-meter.
“The dual meet season went great for men and women,” added Coach Long. “We are excited we got to see what we need to see. Men finished up 10-1, which really is one of the best dual meet records the program has seen in history. However, now we go on to the championship season meets. That is what we have been gearing up for and training for. Now its fine tuning time of year, a lot of people call it the taper time but we prefer to use the term fine tuning. We just need work on perfecting things we have been working on all year and work on strength and endurance as we enter the championship season.”