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Iowa swimming looks to upset Minnesota

BY RYAN RODRIGUEZ | NOVEMBER 01, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Iowa men’s swimming and diving team will aim to take down one of the best in the country this evening when they host No. 7 ranked Minnesota in the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center.

The meet will take place at 5 p.m. The powerhouse Gophers will be the Black and Gold’s first ranked opponent since they fell to Michigan in their season-opener on Sept. 27.

“They’re a great team with a great tradition, and with them obviously being ranked seventh in the country, we really have our hands full,” head coach Marc Long said. “All we can really ask is for our team to step up and give it their best shot.”

The Hawkeye’s were recently ranked 21st nationally in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America poll, which was released Oct. 24. They currently hold a 1-1 record overall, with a loss to Michigan and a victory over Michigan State two weeks ago.

The matchup against the Spartans saw Iowa dominate most of the races, sweeping or placing in the majority of the events. But Long thinks that there is still plenty of room for improvement if the Hawks want a shot at taking down Minnesota.

“They’ve got a lot of speed,” Long said. They’ve got some real good sprinters, great diving, everything across the board, they’re a very solid team and very well-coached.  It’s an extreme challenge but it’s one we’re ready for.”

While the Gophers are certainly tough, Iowa has just as good a shot as any to knock them off.  The No. 21 ranked Hawkeyes boast both dynamic underclassmen and a talented group of seniors that bring valuable leadership experience in Big Ten competition.

Sophomore Roman Trussov has posted an NCAA “B” cut, swimming a 54.60 in the 100 meter breaststroke at the Black and Gold scrimmage on Oct. 11. He is the first Hawkeye to do so.

Fellow sophomore Charles Holliday has also enjoyed a hot start. In his first Big Ten event as a Hawkeye, Holliday swam to three first-place finishes, including victories in the 50 and 100 freestyle.

On the back end, senior captains Tyler Lentz, Andrew Marciniak, and Dustin Rhoads have remained stalwarts for the Black and Gold throughout their careers. Both Rhoads and Marciniak were part of the 200 short-course mixed-medley relay that set a world record at the Michigan Water Carnival in September with a final time of 1:47.61.  

“They’re a very fast team, so we know it’s going to be a challenge, but I definitely think we’re ready for it,” Marciniak said.

Tyler Lentz echoed Marciniak thoughts about the Gophers and said that he believes the Hawks can be better.

“We’ve done a lot of turn work since Michigan State,” Lentz said. “We’ve worked a lot on technique and getting streamlined off the wall. Just simple stuff like that can make a big difference.”


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