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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa men’s swimming and diving team captured the Hawkeye Invitational title in Sunday’s final race at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium. The Hawkeyes scored 918.5 points throughout the three-day event — edging second-place Notre Dame (918).
“I’m thrilled with how we raced this weekend,” said UI head coach Marc Long. “We had a lot of good races and some top performances. I’m happy to see the progress we’re making with a few new records and some NCAA `B’ cuts, but we still have some of our best racing ahead of us.”
The Hawkeyes entered the final race on Sunday — the 400 free relay — trailing Notre Dame by four and a half points. The quartet of sophomore Jackson Halsmer, juniors Jackson Allen and David Ernstsson, and senior Grant Betulius swam to a first-place finish touching in with a time of 2:55.44. With help from the University of Denver, it was enough to jump the fighting Irish on the leaderboard and claim the Hawkeye Invitational.
“We knew where we stood coming into the final race and what needed to go our way,” said Long. “We needed some big races from all our guys and they went out there and got it done.”
The Hawkeyes’ push for the postseason continued to inch closer as the men’s squad tallied six NCAA `B’ cut times. Three individuals — Betulius, senior Chris Freeman, and junior Andrew Parker — touched in with NCAA `B’ cut times in the 200 backstroke. Betulius led the field with a first-place finish and a time of 1:42.19. Parker (1:45.79) finished fourth, and Freeman took sixth place with a time of 1:46.11 in the finals, after claiming his season-best time in the prelims (1:45.57).
Jerzy Twarowski had a strong showing in the 200 butterfly swimming to a first-place finish, an NCAA `B’ cut, and a school record-setting time of 1:44.00 — besting Rafal Szukala’s 1992 NCAA Championship time of 1:44.73.
In the 1,650 free, freshman Chris Dawson swam to a third-place finish touching in with an NCAA `B’ cut time of 15:28.38.
Junior Roman Trussov rounded out the `B’ cuts for the Hawkeyes on Sunday in the 200 breaststroke. Trussov swam to a runner-up time of 1:55.95.
In the diving well, junior Addison Boschult set a new school record off the platform. The Omaha, Nebraska, native dove to a score of 394.35 in the prelims, and led the field in the finals diving to a first-place score of 388.35.
“Addison did great tonight diving to a school record in the prelims,” said UI diving coach Todd Waikel. “I couldn’t be more proud of him as a coach; he looked great and performed really well for us.
“This weekend served as a great warmup for senior nationals — which are also a qualifier for the world games. For him to perform the way he did tonight is exactly where we want him heading into Senior Nationals in Columbus, Ohio.”
The Hawkeyes return to action Saturday, Jan. 3rd at the St. Petersburg Classic in St. Petersburg, Fla.