Men’s swimmers dominate Western Illinois


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The Iowa men’s swimming team extended its undefeated home record, beating Western Illinois, 68-22, on Feb. 4.

Iowa posted one of its best performances of the season against the Leathernecks and sent seniors Max Dittmer, Sean Hagan, Bryan Hill, Zane Hugo, and Richard Salhus out on top. The Hawkeyes won every event.

“[The seniors] lead the way and keep us motivated,” junior Paul Gordon said. “It’s going to be tough to see them all go.”

Gordon ended up dominating his events, winning the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:31.67 — more than 30 seconds faster than the next finisher.

He then anchored for the “B” relay squad in the 200 freestyle and helped Iowa win the event with an overall time of 1:24.26.

Iowa was able to get contributions from the entire team as it swept the 200 free. In first place was freshman Manuel Belzer, who clocked in with a time of 1:41.96, and Dittmer was right behind him with a time of 1:42.02. Freshman Gianni Sesto finished third in 1:42.80.

Many other freshman team members also had success: Dustin Rhoads won the 50 fly, Devon Meeks claimed first in the 50 back, and Andrew Marciniak won the 50 breast.

Tyler Lentz ended up winning the 100 IM in a time of 52.69, and Kyle Noser was right behind him at 53.66.

The Hawkeyes will now have a few weeks off from competition as they begin practicing for the Big Ten championships, set for Feb. 23-26 in Minneapolis.

“I think we’re just really excited and pumped up with the team right now,” sophomore Jordan Huff said. “We’re all healthy [heading into the Big Ten championships].”

As far as practice goes, the team is heading into its “performance phase” now that the dual-meet season is done, Gordon said.

The Hawkeyes are a confident bunch heading into the most anticipated time of the season. Fast times at Big Tens will allow the swimmers to advance to the NCAAs.

“There’s a great vibe going out in the locker room [right now],” junior Ryan Phelan said. “My only goal [for Big Tens] is to score as many points as I can [for my team].”

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