Jan. 22, 2013
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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 — The championship season came three months early for University of Iowa freshman men’s swimmer Roman Trussov.
Trussov, a breaststroker from Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan, competed at the Short Course World Championships in Instanbul, Turkey, on Dec. 12-16. He posted a pair of top 40 finishes, placing 22nd in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:10.86 and 39th in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:00.50.
“It was my first World Championships, so it was a really good experience,” said Trussov. “My races were not so good because I was not ready for it. It was a good experience because a lot of top athletes were there, and I showed I could compete with them.”
Trussov says competing at the World Championships prepared him for what he’ll encounter at the 2013 Big Ten Championships. The event will take place Feb. 27 through March 2 in Bloomington, Ind.
“I can focus better now,” he said. “I was in the “B” competition (at the World Championships), and I will not be afraid to compete at the Big Tens or the NCAA Championship meet. Mentally, I am better prepared for what it will be like.”
“I can focus better now. I was in the “B” competition (at the World Championships), and I will not be afraid to compete at the Big Tens or the NCAA Championship meet. Mentally, I am better prepared for what it will be like.”
UI freshman Roman Trussov
Trussov has adjusted well in his transition to a new country and a new culture. In the pool, he has taken down a pair of school records and out of the pool, he has acclimated himself to the Hawkeye team and worked his way through a language barrier.
“I decided to come to the United States because it is the best opportunity,” said Trussov. “We have a really good school, and we can build a really good team with the guys we have (in the program).
“It was hard in the beginning because my listening skills were very poor. I could not talk too much to the guys, so I didn’t know anybody. With the help of my teammates, I am getting better.”
Trussov showed his ability to get better following a 30-minute break during the 2012 Hawkeye Invitational. After finishing third in the 200 breaststroke final, Trussov wanted a do-over. During the race, Trussov’s goggles filled up with water, yet he still posted a season-best and NCAA “B” qualifying time of 1:58.77.
“I tried my best (in the first race), but I could not hold my position in the water,” he said. “I was not swimming fast or moving fast. I asked Marc to put me in to swim again.”
“He was pretty frustrated because his goggles filled up with water, which basically blinded him when he swam,” said UI head coach Marc Long. “He said he wanted to do it again, so we waited 30 minutes and he swam it. Hats off to him, that’s a tough position to be in. That’s a sign of good things to come.”
During time trial — where he swam by himself — Trussov posted a time of 1:56.76 to break teammate Andrew Marciniak’s school record of 1:57.88 by more than a second. Earlier in the meet, he knocked off Dragos Agache’s school record in the 100 breast, touching out in 53.60. The previous record of 53.77 had stood since 2007.
“I went and laid down, calmed myself down and used meditation to prepare mentally to swim again,” said Trussov. “I imagined it was just a warm-up for the finals. I knew what the school record was, but I didn’t expect to swim that fast after the first one. I was happy.”
Trussov is also elated to be a Hawkeye.
“People here are kinder,” he said. “I have more support from this team than my Kazakhstan team. Back there, everybody swims against each other. They aren’t trying to support you; they’re trying to beat you.”
With his comfort level rising, Trussov says his early-season performance is just the tip of the iceberg.
“I can go a lot faster… this is just the beginning,” he said.