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Iowa swimming concludes Hawkeye Invite with a pair of third place finishes

BY CARLOS SOSA and JALYN SOUCHEK | DECEMBER 03, 2012 6:30 AM

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The men and women’s swim team concluded their fourth-annual Hawkeye Invitational on Sunday with a pair of third-place finishes.

The men’s team placed third behind meet winner Michigan and runner-up Notre Dame, with 606.5 points. The women did the same, finishing behind Michigan and runner-up Nebraska with 559.5 points. The men faced four otherĀ  teams, while the women faced seven.

Marc Long, the head coach of both the men’s and women’s teams, said the teams were as far along as they were at this point last season, but believes there is still a lot of work to be done.

“These times will match up if we’re comparing from last fall,” Long said. “We’re certainly ahead of the game in a lot of areas, but still really raw in the races.”

Despite being awarded third place, the men were still able to find some success.

Freshman Roman Trussov once again had a top performance while breaking two school records. In the 100 breaststroke, Trussov took third place at 53.60 while simultaneously breaking the previous school mark of 53.77.

In the final of the 200 breaststroke, Trussov finished in third-place at 1:58.77, even after his goggles filled with water, blinding him. But he wanted another shot to best his time, so following the meet, he repeated the event and improved his time to a school record-breaking time of 1:56.76.

Grant Betulius was another Hawkeye to break a school record. Betulius broke his own mark in the 100 backstroke with a time of 47.17.

Both Betulius and Trussov were also a part of the 200-medley relay that tied for second place, alongside senior Byron Butler and freshman David Ernstsson. The quartet came in at 1:27.81, the second-fastest time in school history.

In the final race of the meet, the team of Ernstsson, senior Jordan Huff, sophomore Brian Donatelli, and Betulius finished in second for the 400 freestyle relay at 2:57.15.

Long hopes to continue improving the relay teams after losing quite a few swimmers from the last season.

“We’re really trying to piece those together this year,” he said. “We played around with some things, and we’re learning a lot about who’s going to be on them, but I think we see some light there that has some positives.”

The women also had some standout performances.

Early season stars Olivia Kabacinski and Becky Stoughton were able to see how they measured up against top competition from across the nation.

Kabacinski continued to demonstrate why she’s Iowa’s new freshman sensation. The La Porte, Ind., native won the 200 freestyle (1:48.66). Her preliminary time of 1:48.32 was even more impressive because it was the second fastest time in school history. Kabacinski was able to have an impressive showing at the meet even though she was asked to race in eight events.

“It was definitely eye-opening to see how fast our conference and teams here really are,” Kabacinski said. “But being a freshman, I think there’s a lot more I can do for the rest of the season. I feel I can do even better at Big Tens.”

Stoughton, on the other hand, had a tougher time winning races against a newfound rival. Michigan’s Adrienne Bicek almost beat the Peoria, Ill., native in the 500 freestyle on Nov. 30, finishing in second by just 0.08 seconds. Bicek then beat Stoughton in the 1,650 freestyle on Sunday.

Given that Bicek is in the Big Ten, Stoughton will have to use the loss as fuel for the end of the year, when they will inevitably meet again at the Big Ten championships.

“I started too fast [in the 1,650], and she caught me,” Stoughton said. “Competition equals motivation, and I’m excited about [competing against her again], to be honest.”


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