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Men’s swimming to host Hawkeye Invite

BY PATRICK RAFFERTY | NOVEMBER 20, 2009 7:21 AM

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The Iowa men’s swimming team will host the Hawkeye Invitational this weekend, beginning today at 11 a.m.

Iowa head coach Marc Long said he doesn’t remember the last time the Hawkeyes hosted an event such as this.

Formerly, the men’s swimming team hosted the Iowa Invitational every year, but the event cut into the team’s training. Usually during this time of year, the Hawkeyes can be found preparing for the championship season.

However, with this year being the last season Iowa will swim in the Field House, Long said, he planned the event in order to help his squad train for the national championships.

“We wanted this invitational to be able to host something in the Field House and get an opportunity to swim a championship-style event,” Long said. “We haven’t had an invitational in years from when I looked back. It’s something we wanted to have. It’s nice to be able to have an invitational that represents Iowa.”

The Hawkeyes will host South Dakota State, Truman State, and Western Illinois. Iowa is no stranger to Truman State.

Earlier in the season, the Hawkeyes traveled to Kirksville, Mo., to take on the Bulldogs and won 27 of the 28 events.

“These teams are coming in here ready,” Long said. “It’s not a big field in terms of the number of swimmers, but we expect some good racing. It’s preliminary/ finals, so it’s a great format.”

Sophomore simmer Paul Gordon said even with the Hawkeyes’ strong performance in the previous meet, Truman State will have extra motivation.

“We know they’re going to have guys who are going to be fully rested, who are going to their national cuts,” Gordon said. “They’re going to bring everything they have, so we’re going to have to bring everything we have. It’s important for us because we want to swim fast and see our times up there.”

Recently, the Hawkeyes have also been resting for the meet. Gordon said the Hawkeye Invitational is a chance for the team and the coaches to see what improvements need to be made.

The meet will be similar to a championship-style meet with preliminary swimming in the morning and later heats for those who qualify. The top eight swimmers will move on to the championship heat, while the rest will be divided into a consolation and a bonus heat.

Gordon said Iowa is primed for a good meet.

“I think we’ve seen some good racing, and we got a lot of spirit right now. We’re really excited about this season,” Gordon said. “We want to go prove ourselves now and get some good times out there to see what we can build on these next few months and get ready for the rest of the year.”

One Hawkeye swimmer’s family will be torn between teams. Junior Sean Hagan has a brother who swam for the Bulldogs.

“I almost went to Truman State myself, too,” Hagan said. “But I came here on a recruiting trip, and I loved it, so I decided to come here instead. So it’s always kind of a family feud when we swim against Truman State. It’s kind of fun, but I’m glad I came here.”


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