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Men’s swimming opens with intra-squad meet

BY PATRICK RAFFERTY | OCTOBER 05, 2009 7:20 AM

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The Iowa swimming team split into Black and Gold teams for its annual Black and Gold intrasquad meet on Oct. 3 in the Field House over the weekend. During the event, both the men’s and women’s teams swam with pink swimming caps on to raise breast-cancer awareness.

The Gold team swam away with the victory, though, earning the win, 305-209.

The most exciting part of the meet was the intensity surrounding the event. Although it was just a scrimmage, Iowa assistant coach Frannie Malone noticed the level of competition throughout the team.

“I think we had some really good races. The effort was awesome and exciting,” she said. “People were really working it to get their hand on the wall first. We were definitely pleased with the racing today.”

Along with the intensity of the team, the fans seemed to be charged up as well. With the Iowa football game against Arkansas State coinciding with the meet, Iowa head coach Marc Long noticed the large crowd in the Field House all day.

“It was a fun crowd,” Long said. “It did lead to an exciting atmosphere.”

Senior cocaptain Nick Divan, winner of the 1,000 freestyle, was also happy to see that fans were getting excited for the upcoming season. He said he was encouraged with what he saw from the team.
Divan knew winning and losing wasn’t important. He said the Hawkeyes are in “pretty good shape” going into this season.

“Overall, I think the team did real well,” he said. “Obviously, there’s always room for improvement, but on a whole we’ve got one of the better teams we’ve had in a long time, so I’m pretty excited about it.”

Junior cocaptain Max Dittmer, who led the Gold team, won the 100 backstroke and was part of a 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay winners.

Along with Divan, the Hawkeyes will heavily rely on Dittmer this season to ry to meet some of their goals.

Perhaps the most surprising swimming of the meet came from freshman Byron Butler.

He finished first four times, the most of any swimmer at the meet. He won the 100 butterfly, 200 butterfly, 200 backstroke, and also swam on the winning team in the 200 medley relay.

“It was great to see him step up and win some events,” Long said. “That’s what we’re looking for, not as much the times, but how they compete. He did a great job.”

Butler’s success this past weekend didn’t come as a surprise to everyone.

He has received a team award for his hard work and dedication, winning Hawk of the Week for his extensive training.

“Bryon is an exciting addition; he works very hard in the pool,” Malone said. “I think he’s going to do some special things this year. He’s definitely still has some development to do, but he had some really great performances and he’s going to be key for us during out dual meets.”

Butler didn’t expect to have the success he had, considering it was his first college meet. With an active crowd on hand, Butler turned to his teammates to help settle him before letting his nerves get the best of him.

“I felt smooth, but honestly I was really nervous,” Bulter said. “The captains on the Gold team just kept telling me, ‘You’ll be fine.’ I almost jumped the relay.”


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