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Men's swimming looks sharp at Black and Gold Meet

BY BEN ROSS | OCTOBER 10, 2011 7:20 AM

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This past weekend marked the beginning of the men's swimming and diving season, when the swimmers competed in the team's annual Black and Gold intrasquad meet. The Gold side earned bragging rights, defeating the Black squad, 108-91, in the Campus Wellness & Recreation Center.

The meet — which serves as a warmup to the regular season — has plenty of competitive spirit among the swimmers — the teams are selected by captains Ryan Phelan, Paul Gordon, and Kyle Noser in schoolyard fashion. Phelan combined with Gordon to choose the Gold team, and Noser picked the Black.

The meet consisted of 11 events, with both the men and women competing in alternate heats. Even though the meet only serves as a preseason exhibition, head swimming and diving coach Marc Long said he believes the performance his swimmers gave is a solid indication on how the team will fare throughout the season.

"It's a good reflection of how our team is coming together," the eight-year head coach said. "It's [still] early — I mean, the divers aren't even diving yet. But it's definitely an indication of our enthusiasm and how the team is coming together. It's a long road, and this is a great start."

Phelan, one of four Hawkeye All-Americans, competed well for the Gold squad. He set a pool record in the 50 freestyle — an event he was runner-up in the Big Ten in last year — with a time of 20.20.

Sophomore Manuel Belzer was the star for the Black squad; the native of Germany led his team to victory in the 500 and 1,000 freestyle with times of 4:32.49 and 9.28.35, respectively.

Phelan said he was excited that he and other teammates set pool records at the event but noted that there is a larger task at hand.

"Times don't mean a lot now," the senior said. "It's just the fact that we are racing … it's great that progress was made today. A woman on our team [Becky Stoughton] broke three records today, which is pretty nice to see this early on, but there are bigger goals towards the end of the year that we are really looking at."

Iowa will return to action on Oct. 20, when it travels to Madison to take on the Badgers. Senior All-American Duncan Partridge said he was happy with the team's overall results at the intrasquad meet, and that he thinks the attitude his team showed bodes well for the rest of the season.

"I feel really good," the Lake Forest, Ill., native said. "I'm really happy with everybody's times. We set a lot of records today. We did a lot of fast racing; it was really fun and enjoyable. I feel really good going to Wisconsin — if we can carry that attitude throughout the season, it will be a big help."


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