Iowa Swog (Swimming Blog)

Editor’s Note: University of Iowa senior Gianni Sesto will chronicle the remainder of the 2013-14 season courtesy of an online blog at

Winter Training Trip Photo Gallery

Feb. 25, 2014
And we’re off to Ann Arbor! We are on our way to the 2014 Big Ten Championships at Michigan. This is the meet of the year for us, so we’re expecting some fast swims in the deepest, toughest conference in the nation.

When we get to the hotel I will be sure to write another entry with a link to live results and a video feed of the meet, as well as photos of the team throughout the meet.

Feb. 19, 2014
Hello all! The women left as of yesterday to embark on their journey to Minneapolis for the Big Ten Championships. There will be a live video feed of the meet on this website as well as live results of the meet as it goes on. You can follow this LINK to follow the action.

I will be sure to post a link for the Big Ten Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships as well in a later blog post.

If there are any Hawkeye fans in the Minneapolis area, make your way to the University Aquatic Center and cheer on our women as they race in the most competitive conference in the country!

Feb. 13, 2014
Hello Hawkeye fans! Sorry about the delay on the SWOG posts! It has been pretty hectic here in Iowa City over the past several weeks. I think the polar vortex has messed with my biomechanics a little bit.

We had a stretch of quality meets since the last blog post. We traveled to Northwestern where the women posted a victory against a very tough Northwestern squad, while the men’s dual came down to the wire in the last relay, and unfortunately, it did not work out in our favor. We had to quickly rebound from that defeat as we traveled to South Bend, Ind., the following weekend to take on strong competition in Notre Dame and Missouri State.

It was unfortunate again to not come out with victories from the invitational style meet held on Notre Dame’s campus, but, there were plenty signs of fast swimming coming from members of the men’s squad.

Last week was Senior Night. This was a very emotional, but exciting night for the Class of 2014 as it was the last time we will compete in the beautiful Campus Recreation & Wellness Center Pool.

The emotions came pouring out of me when I saw my mother on the pool deck. It was a surreal feeling to see all of the senior parents handing out roses to their loved ones as they look toward the completion of their collegiate swimming careers.

Now all eyes are set on Big Ten Championships and Iowa State Championships. The women take off for Minneapolis next Tuesday, while the men depart for Ann Arbor, Mich., on Feb. 25. Some of the men will be competing here locally during the time we are gone for Big Tens.

Thank you so much for following along with the Iowa Hawkeyes’ swimming & diving program and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and now on Instagram. GO HAWKS!

Jan. 22, 2014
Hello Hawkeye fans! It feels great getting back into the swing of things at school. We are back on our normal training schedule (no more unlimited hours of training! (Yes!)

We hosted a meet last weekend featuring top 15 teams in Missouri and Indiana. The meet results did not work out in our favor, however there were many positive swims throughout the meet.

We have a string of meets coming up within the next four weeks that include Northwestern this weekend, the Shamrock Invitational at Notre Dame the following weekend, then our final dual against Western Illinois in which we will highlight the current seniors on the team.

We are gearing up for a very exciting meet this weekend in Evanston against a talented Northwestern team that will for sure be gunning for us. We would like to have as many Hawkeye faithful as possible in the Chicago area come help cheer us on to a victory against a Big Ten rival.

Hope to see you out there and Go Hawks!

Jan. 5, 2014
We completed the final day of training camp in San Diego yesterday. We started off the day with a bang by completing a set that was challenging for everybody.

After workout we went straight to the hotel where we got our beach wear and set sail to beautiful Laguna Beach for the day.

I, along with David Ernstsson, Mike Nelson, Luke Snow, Chris Freeman, and Max Behles rented stand-up paddle boards and ventured out into the ocean for an hour. Afterwards we headed up the hills of Laguna to Coach Long’s uncle’s house and changed into proper attire for the final team dinner of the training trip. We were sure to take plenty of pictures of the sun setting behind the ocean.

From there we made our way to Dave & Buster’s for dinner and us guys made our way quickly to the arcade. It definitely brought back some childhood memories!

It was an early morning for us as we made our way back to Iowa City. We are currently stranded in the Denver International Airport until further notice as the arctic has decided to make its way to the Midwest.

As we are stuck here, I just wanted to say thank-you to all that are following the “Swog”. It could not be possible without the amazing personnel. Check back as I will continue to update our training back in Iowa City and be sure to follow Iowa Swimming on Facebook and Twitter in time for our very important tri-meet against Missouri/Indiana on Jan. 18!

Jan. 3, 2014
What an awesome two days here at training camp! We paired up with the UCSD swim teams and partook in a conjoined practice and dry land session where we pushed each other pretty hard. It was neat seeing guys I used to swim against back in the day being successful with their swimming careers.

Last night was also the senior dinner where Coach Marc (Long) took us to a beautiful restaurant right on the beach, and we shared stories with each other that will make ever-lasting memories.

This morning, we took part in a knock-out swim set where the interval times for 100 freestyles descended by one second up until you did not make the send off anymore. Kyle Gannon and Manuel Belzer were the last two to survive and certainly had the whole team cheering them on.

Then a group of eight of us took a trip to the Naval Base located in Coronado where we got to take an in-depth look at the USS Pasadena (an active nuclear powered submarine). It was an experience of a lifetime!

The team then headed back to the pool and participated in an hour lift/hour swim session where we had a challenging kick set to end a fantastic day.

We have a two hour swim tomorrow morning and then we are heading to Laguna Beach to shred some waves and get one last opportunity to work on our tans!

I’ll be sure to provide more pictures of tomorrow’s adventure to Laguna!

Jan. 1, 2014
Happy New Year! Today was the second day of training trip here in sunny San Diego! We had a great lifting session followed with a swim this morning. Then we headed back to the hotel to watch the Hawkeyes play against LSU. It was a close and exciting game, and it was too bad we didn’t get the victory.

After the game, we headed to Torrey Pines beach where we competed in team activities consisting of carrying each other and filling up buckets with the ocean water. We then had a little fun, dividing up the team into graduating classes and partaking in a sand castle competition. The sophomores ended up winning.

Tonight, we are going to get a bite to eat and then we’ll see where the night takes us.

Dec. 31, 2013
We have officially started day one of our training trip here in beautiful and sunny San Diego. We had practice this morning at Cathedral Catholic High School and are heading back there for a tough afternoon practice under the sun! The weather is a wonderful at 72 degrees and the rays are shining down on us. We have a New Year’s Eve dinner planned this evening along with a television set up of the Hawkeye basketball game tonight against Nebraska. We’ll be sure to cheer them on in their first game of Big Ten Conference play.

Tomorrow morning we are slated to have a weight lifting session along with a swim where I’m sure we will be challenged, but we are striving to prepare to be the best at same time! Be sure to check back in the next few days for an update of how our 2013 Training trip is going!