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Hawkeye men's swimming and diving team 'satisfied' with season

BY JALYN SOUCHEK | APRIL 09, 2013 5:00 AM

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The men’s swimming and diving team wrapped up its season with a 32nd-place finish at the 2013 NCAA swimming and diving championships. Despite not placing as high as the swimmers had hoped, some members of the team conceded they are satisfied with the results of the season.

Iowa sent six swimmers to this year’s NCAAs, a one-man increase over the previous season. But those six swimmers were unable to make their goal of breaking into the top 25 at the competition. They just missed that mark when they placed 26th in 2012.

“As far as getting back into scoring position, we’ve done better than we’ve done in any year since I’ve been here,” Iowa head coach Marc Long said. “[We had] great swims, we broke school records, and swam faster than at Big Tens.”

Of the seven events in which the Hawkeyes competed, none broke the top 10 individually.

“Instead of getting touched out for 16th, when you get into that scoring position, you want to get as high as you can,” Long said. “That’s the difference between 2 and 18 points, which gets us in the top 20 just with a couple fingernail finishes.”

All-American honors were given to the 200- and 400-medley relays teams of sophomore Grant Betulius, junior Andrew Marciniak, and seniors Byron Butler and Jordan Huff. Betulius also received the honors individually after competing in the 100 backstroke. He touched the wall with a 13th place finish.

For Butler, it was his first trip to NCAAs as well as a bittersweet finish to his Iowa career. The senior also holds the team record for the 100 butterfly.

“You finish out, and you think you can go faster still,” he said. “I’m just happy. Marc said that it feels like we’ve left the program better than when we came in. I think that was just always the end game.”

Iowa raked in seventh place at this year’s Big Ten meet, two steps lower than last year’s fifth place. The Hawkeyes still managed to break nine school records in the competition, two of which were reset once again during the NCAAs.

Iowa won nine meets this season and lost five. Four of those losses came against Big Ten teams — Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio State.

Happy with finally garnering All-American honors, Butler leaves the program knowing the team has yet to meet its full potential.

“We achieved a lot of our goals. But there’s just more to be done for this team and this program,” he said. “… I just know this team and this program can be even better.”

Freshman David Ernstsson, who was one of the younger Hawkeyes to make the trip, was thankful for the opportunity to compete again. The Stockholm native said he feels good about the progress he made and his overall season, but he continues to look ahead.

“I’m looking forward to next year; it’s going to be a really fun year,” he said. “It’s been an awesome journey so far, and I’m looking forward to spending three more years with the Hawkeyes.”


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