Hawkeye relays climbing success for Northwestern competition


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Coming off two losses — one to Ohio State, and one to Indiana — some members of the Iowa men’s swimming team expressed their distaste.

The Hawkeyes have an opportunity to get the losing taste out of their mouths when Northwestern, a team that Iowa has defeated four years in a row, comes to Iowa City for a dual meet on Saturday.

“It’s never fun to lose, obviously,” senior Jordan Huff said. “It’s just something that we have to build off of. At the end of the day, you know it’s just one meet, and our focus is now on Northwestern.”

The last time the two teams met, Iowa swam past Northwestern with ease in a 178-120 victory.
In order to continue their success, the Hawkeyes will try for consistent swimming and continual improvement of their 200-medley and 400-free relays, a process head coach Marc Long says they’re still piecing together after losing many veteran swimmers.

Dual meets allow Long to get an idea of who will be a part of the relays once championship season arrives. As the Hawks rotate people in and out, senior swimmers Byron Butler and Huff have been able to lead the relays to increasing success.

“For [Huff and Butler], it wasn’t about reloading, it was about actually making it better,” Long said. “They have provided some stability, but we still don’t know who’s going to be where.”

Sophomore Korey Schneider said the two complete each other in leadership roles.

“Byron is a very vocal leader,” he said. “Huff is somebody who leads just by example. They both show what it means to be a Hawkeye, what it means to race really hard.”

Schneider is one of the swimmers battling to make the final team, and he was a part of the 200-medley relay last week that posted the fifth-fastest time in Iowa history. The Mentor, Ohio, native said it’s been a battle for the spot because of the number of strong breaststrokers this year.

Despite the frequent changes to the lineup, the relays have found some success, including besting the Hoosiers last week. The team’s energy has been given credit for it as well as the upperclassmen’s ability to inspire the underclassmen to step up.

“The underclassmen want to make the upperclassmen proud, so that’s where a lot of our success comes out of and just getting up and wanting to race and wanting to win,” Schneider said.

For Huff, the key to beating to Northwestern for yet another time is by staying focused.

“Northwestern is going to come in here looking for the W,” he said. “This senior class has never lost to them, so they’re coming for us. We just got to keep our focus and keep racing hard.”

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