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Iowa lucky to have both Gordon siblings

BY BEN WOLFSON | DECEMBER 15, 2010 7:10 AM

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Freshman Haley Gordon made five recruiting visits before she decided. The Iowa swimming program was fortunate she chose to swim for the Hawkeyes and join her brother, junior Paul Gordon, to form perhaps the most versatile pair of siblings to ever swim for Iowa.

Siblings have competed together before in Iowa's rich swimming history, but the Gordons' value lies in their ability to score in numerous races for both teams.

Since they were children, the Gordons have been swimming at Snow Fox, a club in their hometown of Sioux Falls, S.D. Without a high-school swimming team, the siblings developed their talents there.

"Our coach [at Snow Fox] was very focused on diversity and aptitude in every race," Paul Gordon said. "She wanted us to have the knowledge and experience [in all races]."

Whether it was the 50 free, the mile, short or long course, or the 400 individual medley, the Gordons did it all during their time at Snow Fox.

So far this season for Iowa, Paul Gordon has competed in six events while Haley Gordon has swum in seven different races.

Associate head coach Frannie Malone believes Haley Gordon's immediate success as a freshman is a direct result of her exposure to so many different races in South Dakota.

"[They're] are used to swimming tired and broken-down. They just have a good background in all their strokes," Malone said. "They were never really pigeonholed or withheld in anything."

"They've just been great and have fit right in with what we want them to do here," assistant coach Nate Mundt said. "We can put them in pretty much any event, and they're going to score or give you their best and honest effort in order to help the team."

While Haley Gordon went through the recruiting process, Paul Gordon often offered her advice based on what he had gone through during recruitment. She chose Iowa based on her preference for the team, the campus and the new swimming facilities at the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center.

"[Paul] didn't want to pressure me to choose Iowa or not," she said. "He let me make my own decision."

The Gordons usually grab dinner together once a week and hang out together with the swim team.

"It's kind of fun, now that it's like the family in Sioux Falls and the family here," Paul Gordon said. "We have the same things going on."

For the past three years, the Iowa coaches have been able to move Paul Gordon around in the men's lineup, and this year the women's team is able to experience the same luxury with Haley Gordon.

So far this season, each has been able to swim three to four races in each dual meet for the Hawkeyes, but in the Hawkeye Invitational, they truly showed their capabilities.

Paul Gordon ended up swimming in four individual races —100 fly, 100 free, 200 free, and 500 free — and five relays, though one relay race was only an exhibition.

Haley Gordon competed in four individual events — 100 and 200 fly, 200 and 400 IM — as well as two relays.

"I think Haley is similar to me in that her best race is always changing," Paul Gordon said. "It's fun to be at meets as an athlete but also part of that is being a spectator and watching my teammates perform. Watching my sister excel just makes it a lot more special."


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