Hawkeyes Gear Up for Big Ten Championships

Feb. 13, 2012

Complete Release

The University Iowa women’s swimming and diving team will compete at the Big Ten Championships, Wednesday through Saturday at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Pool. Preliminary events begin Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 11 a.m., while finals are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. (CT) each evening.

All-session tickets are $40 for adults and single session tickets are $8. Tickets are available from the Iowa Athletic Ticket Office at 1-800 IA-HAWKS (1-800 424-2957).

The Hawkeyes placed ninth with 151 points at the 2011 Big Ten Championships in Bloomington, Ind.

Hawkeye diver Deidre Freeman was Iowa’s top individual scorer – scoring the most points on the team for her efforts on the 1 and 3-meter board. Freeman placed third on the 1-meter (338.55) and second in the 3-meter (4:07.40).

Daniela Cubelic was Iowa’s top individual swimmer, finishing 13th in the 100 back with a time of 54.69.

The 200 free relay team of Elise Borja, Katarina Tour, Daniela Cubelic and Caitlin Polz posted an eighth place finish with a time of 1:33.45.

Caitlin Polz was honored with the Sportsmanship Award for the second year in row for the Hawkeyes. The award is given to those who have demonstrated the ideals of sportsmanship, which are fairness, civility, honesty, unselfishness, respect and responsibility.

The Big Ten Network will televise the Women’s Swimming and Diving Big Ten Championships on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 11 a.m. (ET).

The Hawkeye women have crowned 13 Big Ten champions in the program’s 35-year history. Iowa’s highest finish at the Big Ten Championships came in 1986 when the team tied for second after crowning eight champions.

Nancy Vaccaro won Iowa’s first title in the 50 fly in 1983. Iowa’s last Big Ten champion was Melissa Loehndorf in the 200 fly in 2001.

Kelly Johnson was named Big Ten Diver of the Year in 1986, and head diving coach Bob Rydze has been named Big Ten Diving Coach of the Year four times (1985, 1986, 1995, 2011).

Kerry Stewart (1983), Jennifer Skolaski (2005) and Nancilea Underwood (2006) are Iowa’s Big Ten Medal of Honor winners for women’s swimming and diving.

Since its first season in 1975, the Hawkeye women’s swimming and diving team has posted 113 NCAA qualifiers, 41 All-Americans and 18 Big Ten Champions. The Hawkeyes have a dual meet record of 197-166-2 in their 37-year history.

Marc Long is in his eighth season as head coach for the University of Iowa swimming program. It’s his seventh year as head coach of the combined programs. During his tenure as head coach of both programs, 41 school records have fallen and 74 Hawkeyes have provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships. Under Long, the men’s team has a 40-21 record, while the women’s squad has a 53-43 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 runner-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 freestyle relay that year.

Frannie Malone (Iowa, 2000) was named to the position of associate head coach during the 2011 season. Malone had served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator since joining the Hawkeye coaching staff in 2004.

Long is assisted by Kirk Hampleman (Auburn, 2002) and Nathan Mundt (Tampa, 2001).

Bob Rydze is in his 37th year as diving coach of the Hawkeye men and women’s teams. Rydze served as Team Leader for the USA Diving team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. During his tenure with the Hawkeyes, Rydze has coached 33 All-Americans, 11 Big Ten and one NCAA Champion.

Ground was broken for the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center in October 2007. The facility opened in August 2010 and is home for the Hawkeyes. It is located at the corner of Burlington and Madison streets and cost approximately $69 million. The facility includes a 50-meter competition pool, a separate diving well, a leisure pool with lap lanes and 24,000 square feet of fitness space.

Iowa’s divers will compete at the NCAA Diving Qualifier on March 8-10. Swimmers and divers who have met qualifying standards will compete at the NCAA Championships on March 15-17 in Auburn, Ala.