Championship Waters Await Hawkeye Swimmers

Feb. 24, 2010

The Iowa men’s swimming and diving team will compete in the Big Ten Championships Wednesday-Saturday at Columbus, OH. All events will be held at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion on the Ohio State University campus. Event prelims are scheduled to start at 11 a.m. (CT) each day, while event finals are set to start at 6 p.m. (CT) each evening.

All-session tickets are $40 for adults and $25 for students (age 3-college). Single-session tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets are available through ticket master at 1-800-745-3000 .

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

Fans unable to make the trip to Columbus, OH can visit to view live results throughout the Big Ten Championships. A live results link is available on the men’s swimming schedule page. Ohio State is also planning on streaming each session of the championships live. To view live streaming, visit

Freshmen Duncan Partridge, Ryan Phelan, and Paul Gordon, sophomore Max Dittmer, juniors Brian Farris and Nick Divan and senior James Dragon also swam legs on the placewinning relays. Divan placed 10th in the 1,650 free (15:14.78). Phelan placed 15th in the 50 free (20.24). Hawkeye divers Frank Van Dijkhuzen and Michael Gilligan placed 12th on one-meter (319.20) and 13th on platform (335.45), respectively.

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 been named conference diving coach of the year three times (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.

Marc Long is in his sixth season as head coach for the University of Iowa swimming program. It’s his fifth 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 a 27-18 record, while the women’s squad has a 39-34 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).

Bob Rydze is in his 35th year as diving coach of the Hawkeye men and women’s teams. 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.

Max Dittmer turned in the seventh fastest 100 back in school history at last year’s Big Ten Championships.

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 seconds faster than the existing 100-yard world record.

Iowa just completed its 83rd and final season in the historic 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.

Ground was broken for the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center in October, 2007. The Iowa Swimming and Diving team will break-in the new facility at the start of the 2010-11 season. The facility is located at the corner of Burlington and Madison streets and is expected to cost $69 million.

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