Shooting Down Records

March 7, 2011

Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Records are made to be broken. That’s a good thing because the University of Iowa men’s swimming and diving team took down eight school records at the 2011 Big Ten Championships.

The Hawkeyes posted the top times in school history in all five relay events, while also touching the wall in the fastest times in the 200-IM, 200-back and 100-free. Junior Paul Gordon was a member of all five relay teams, while also setting the new record in the 100-free.

“This certainly was another step for our program,” said UI head coach Marc Long. “It gives us a lot of confidence that we are racing up there with everybody on these relays. There are five relays and setting five school records on the relays was important and an outstanding step for our program.”

A pair of the school records that were taken down had stood since the early 1990s. The 200-freestyle relay consisting of Ryan Phelan, Duncan Partridge, Gordon and Jordan Huff posted a time of 1:18.28 to break a record that stood since 1993.

The 400-freestyle relay consisting of Partridge, Phelan, Huff and Gordon finished with a time of 2:53.50, breaking the record that had stood for 17 years. Both relays were Big Ten Conference records when they were first set.

Overall, Iowa placed seventh at the championship, finishing with 228.5 points. Phelan garnered second team all-Big Ten honors after finishing second in the 50-free with a time of 19.75.

Five of the six Big Ten schools that finished ahead of Iowa are each among the top 20 in the TYR/CSCAA Men’s Division I poll. Michigan (9), Ohio State (11), Indiana (14) and Minnesota (15) are all among the top-15, while Purdue and Iowa come in at 20 and 24, respectively.

“It’s hard when you look at the finish, but the parody in this league is unmatched,” said Long. “We had some events where we had two or three people in the top 10.

“This year was exceptional as far as depth is concerned (in our conference)… I think the last place team in the Big Ten would win a lot of conference meets around the country.”

Long credits the senior class for helping the program get back to respectability considering they signed on with the Hawkeyes long before the Campus Wellness and Recreation Center was a reality.

“This group, especially the seniors, have been through a lot and they’ve helped us stabilize the program,” said Long. “A lot of these kids are Iowans that have had tremendous time drops. Basically it shows the commitment to the program from a solid core group of athletes.

“We were able to solidify our presence at the championship and there’s a really bright future for Iowa swimming and diving. This just fires us up more for the future, and we get to host the meet (2012 Big Ten Championships) in our pool next season.”