Splashing toward motivation


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While it was not able to register a victory in its last dual meet, the Iowa men’s swimming and diving team says the weekend was not a total loss.

On Nov. 8, the Hawkeyes swam in their first Big Ten dual meet of the season, dropping a pair of decisions to Purdue and Ohio State by scores of 173-127 and 195-105.

While the two losses gave the Black and Gold a 1-3 record this season, many on the team are still optimistic about their chances and are using the losses as motivation.

“Having that feeling after a loss, we’re using it as motivation for the rest of the season,” sophomore Charles Holliday said. “We started by using it as motivation today in practice, and I think it’s something we’re going to continue to use to stick out in our minds.”

In many respects, swimming is an individual sport as much as it is a team sport, and while the overall goal of a team victory remains the same, Holliday maintains that he saw several strong individual performances against Purdue and Ohio State that should give some of his teammates added confidence despite the loss.

“I can’t really say we struggled at all in those races,” Holliday said. “Those guys really came to race well, but a lot of us weren’t at our peak so far this season. We haven’t swum an away meet since the water carnival at Michigan back in September, so I think some of the guys might have gotten tripped up on that, but overall, we saw some really strong performances.”

Sophomore Roman Trussov continued his strong season by posting a pair of first-place finishes in the 100 and 200 breaststroke, finishing with times of 54:35 and 1:59.82.  His finish in the 100 was his third NCAA “B” cut of this season.

Trussov was not the only swimmer who impressed his teammates. Freshman Nick Zito had second-place finishes in both the 200 breast and 200 individual medley, and senior Dustin Rhoads also recorded an NCAA “B” cut in the 100 back. It was his second “B” cut of the season.

“Overall, we came up a little bit short against those two teams. Obviously, Ohio State in particular is always tough to swim against, so we knew that one was going to be tough,” Rhoads said. “With Purdue, we were obviously disappointed and thought there were some more races we could have won, but that’s how swimming is sometimes. We’re just going to have to look at the tape and see what we can improve on.”

For assistant head coach Frannie Malone, this week will be an opportunity to help the team learn from its mistakes and to look forward to what lies ahead for the Hawks.

“Coming off any meet, we always look at what we could do better, but we’re going into that invitational looking for some big swims,” she said. “We’re excited about what we can do, and we’re looking forward to swimming in a championship format.”

From here on out, the Hawkeyes will have their work cut out for them, swimming one of the toughest schedules in one of the best conferences, the Big Ten.

“We know they’re strong, but that’s why coach scheduled our meets,” Rhoads said. “We think we’re one of the best, and we want to compete with the best.”

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