Hawkeyes Welcome Back Alumni

April 9, 2012

Complete Release

The University of Iowa swimming and diving program will welcome back former Hawkeyes for the annual alumni meet in the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Saturday at 11 a.m.

At the conclusion of the alumni meet, the team will hold its annual spring banquet at the Marriot Hotel & Convention Center in Coralville, Iowa. The gathering will honor the 2011-12 student-athletes, while swimming and diving alumni will also be recognized at the event.

The Iowa men’s swimming team earned All-America honorable mention honors in three relays at the 2012 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships. Ryan Phelan, Duncan Partridge, Gianni Sesto and Paul Gordon garnished the first honor with a 15th place finish in the in the 200 free relay (1:18.96). Jordan Huff, Sesto, Phelan and Gordon posted another 15th place finish for the Hawkeyes in the 800 free relay with a time of 6:29.33. Iowa’s last All-America honor came in the 400 free relay when Sesto, Phelan, Huff and Gordon placed 11th with a time of 2:54.22.

For the women’s squad, freshman Becky Stoughton earned honorable mention All-America honors with her ninth place finish in the 1,650 free at the 2012 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. Stoughton is the first Hawkeye swimmer to qualify for the NCAAs since Jennifer Skolaski swam in three events in 2005, and she is the first Iowa freshman to qualify since Skolaski in 2002.

The Peoria, Ill., native is the highest swimmer NCAA finisher for the Hawkeyes since Skolaski placed 14th in the 100 back at the 2005 NCAA Championships. The last swimmer to place higher than ninth place was Skolaski in 2003 when she placed eighth in the 100 back.

Twenty-four student-athletes from the men’s and women’s teams were named to the Big Ten Winter Academic all-Conference.

Manuel Belzer, Byron Butler, Kyle Noser, Ryan Phelan, Dustin Rhoads, Mitch Taylor, Brian Tremml adn Donny Warren were named on the men’s team.

April Allen, Elise Borja, Danielle Carty, Emily Christiansen, Joelle Christy, Daniela Cubelic, Aiste Dobrovolskaite, Lauren Drennan, Haley Gordon, Abby Grilli, Emily Hovren, Lauren Kelba, Taylor Newgaard, Brianne Richson, Veronica Rydze and Karolina Wartalowicz were named on the women’s squad.

Iowa’s men’s swimming and diving team finished the season ranked 17th in the final CSCAA Men’s Division I prediction poll. The Hawkeyes debuted at No. 10 in the dual meet rankings. Iowa finished the dual meet season ranked 14th in the poll.

Iowa is one of seven Big Ten Conference schools ranked among the top 25, along with Michigan (five), Ohio State (nine), Penn State (14) Minnesota (20), Wisconsin (22) and Purdue (24).

Since 2008-09, the men’s swimming and diving team has compiled 34-6 dual meet record. That mark includes a 10-1 record in 2009-10, which is the program’s best record since finishing 13-1 and placing second at the Big Ten in 1987.

Seven University of Iowa men’s swimmers posted U.S. Olympic Trial qualifying times at the Hawkeye/Big Ten Long Course qualifier, which was held Feb. 26 at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Pool.

Two Hawkeyes — junior Byron Butler and sophomore Andrew Marciniak — qualified in a pair of events. Butler posted a trials cut time of 54.57 in the 100 butterfly and 57.25 in the 100 back, while Marciniak qualified in the 100 breast (1:04.53) and 200 breast (2:18.57).

Redshirt freshman Grant Betulius posted a qualifying time in the 100 back (56.70), freshman Brian Donatelli in the 50 free (23.49), sophomore Dustin Rhoads in the 100 back (56.12), freshman Korey Schneider in the 100 breast (1:04.58) and sophomore Gianni Sesto in the 50 free (23.14).

Five other current Hawkeyes — junior Jordan Huff, sophomore Tyler Lentz, seniors Paul Gordon and Ryan Phelan and freshman Michael Vinyard — had already previously qualified for the U.S. Trials. Sophomore Manuel Belzer and senior Duncan Partridge are international qualifiers.

The 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials will be held at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb., on June 25 through July 2.

Marc Long is in his eighth season as head coach for the University of Iowa swimming team and seventh leading both the men and women’s squads. During his tenure as head coach of both programs, 54 school records have fallen and 93 Hawkeyes have automatically or provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships.

DIVING COACH Bob Rydze <><>Bob Rydze is in his 37th, and final, year as diving coach of the men and women’s teams at the University of Iowa. Rydze, who will retire June 30, served as Team Leader for USA Diving at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. During his tenure with the Hawkeyes, Rydze has coached 31 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 the new home of 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 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.

Six student-athletes have been named to the 2011-12 Captains’ Council. Ryan Phelan, Jordan Huff and Kyle Noser will captain the men’s squad, while Daniela Cubelic, Danielle Carty and Haley Gordon will captain the women’s squad. The Captains’ Council was voted on by their peers and coaches.