Iowa Gears Up for Next Phase

Dec. 16, 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 — University of Iowa head swimming and diving coach Marc Long likes the position his teams are in through the first two months of the 2011-12 season, and he’s looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.

The Hawkeyes had a strong showing at the Hawkeye Invitational in early December, the first championship style meet of the season. The men’s squad finished second behind top-ranked Michigan, while the UI women’s team was third behind the Wolverines and Denver.

“We had some outstanding performances and our relays put themselves in positions for seedings at the Big Ten Championships,” said Long, who has guided Iowa to a combined 7-3 dual record this season.

“For who we are, we’re in an outstanding place. We’ve really had the times and progressions we were looking for, but now comes the fun and challenging part.”
UI head coach Marc Long

The next three weeks will provide the Hawkeyes an opportunity for intense training leading up to the championship portion of their schedule. The squad will continue training in Iowa City next week before heading to Tucson, Ariz., for a three-day training trip that will end with a dual at Arizona.

“We’re keeping them here next week, and we’ll crank it up,” said Long. “It is long course right now — the Olympic length — so that is advantageous to great training.”

Long is eager to continue working with his team, especially the underclassmen swimmers.

“This is a time with the newcomers that they can train at a higher level than they could earlier in the year,” said Long. “They’ve been able to bring their times down and have some good performances. Now we can take it to another level for the final stretch.”

Long says sophomore Abbey Tuchscherer’s development is symbolic of the growth of the women’s program. Tuchscherer tallied a pair of first place finishes in the 100 and 200 fly events in the dual victory at Iowa State with personal best times of 54.77 and 2:01.17, respectively. As a result, she was tabbed as the Big Ten Co-Swimmer of the Week on Dec. 13.

“Abbey is symbolic of the women’s team as a whole in how the group is coming together,” said Long. “She’s really developing as a swimmer. She’s a hard worker, like our women’s team, and she’s seeing success as a result.”

Long says the men’s team is a squad that is getting better, faster, day-by-day.

“In some ways our seed times are even faster than we thought they might be,” he said. “Our relays and individuals are starting to come on. Grant Betulius put himself in a great position for the final stretch (breaking the school record in the 100-back). From top to bottom, it’s an improving team.

“For who we are, we’re in an outstanding place. We’ve really had the times and progressions we were looking for, but now comes the fun and challenging part.”

A portion of the impending challenge will take place in Iowa City, as the Hawkeyes will host the Big Ten Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships on Feb. 15-18 and Big Ten Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships on Feb. 22-25 at the Campus Recreation Center and Wellness Pool.