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Men's swimming impresses observers so far with room to improve

BY RYAN RODRIGUEZ | DECEMBER 16, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Iowa men’s swimming and diving team is at the mid-point of the 2013-14 season, and with five Big Ten matchups under their belt, they are starting to come into championship season form.

With an overall record of 3-4, the Hawkeyes are ranked No. 23 in the country, and they have remained tough when swimming against such top-ranked opponents as Notre Dame and Michigan.

While pleased with his team’s progress, head coach Marc Long always looks to improve his squad with training and repetition. He likes where his team is heading, but knows that there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done if the Black and Gold are to make a serious impact at the end of the year at nationals.

“I think we’ve set ourselves up very nicely for the rest of the year, at this point,” Long said. “We’ve challenged this team from Day One in September with tough opponents. We swam the No. 1 team in the country in Michigan, so we’re challenging them now so they’re prepared for what they’ll face at the end of the year.”

The Hawkeyes have swum arguably the toughest schedule in the country so far, and they have impressed observers in every meeting. From top to bottom, they have been one of the most consistent teams in the conference.

Leadership

Leadership is an integral component of any team, and fortunately for them, the Hawkeyes have it in spades.

Iowa’s core group of seniors have been leading by example since Day One, winning races in the pool as well as passing down a hardworking and competitive nature out of the pool.

Seniors Andrew Marciniak, Dustin Rhoads, Gianni Sesto, and Kyle Noser have been some of the most reliable swimmers on Long’s squad all season, frequently dominating their respective events.
At their annual Hawkeye Invitational in the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center from Dec. 6-8, Rhoads posted numerous NCAA “B” cut times in his events, while Sesto, Marciniak, and Noser all chipped in with top-10 finishes.

“We’re doing well, but the last thing we want to do is become complacent right now,” Sesto said. “We’ve been working hard, but from here on out, we have to work even harder than what we were doing leading up to this.”

Young guns

Not surprisingly, the Hawks also have one of the most talented groups of underclassmen to complement their elite leadership.

Freshman Nick Zito has been a standout since the start of the season, winning Big Ten Swimmer of the Week after only his first college meet.

Sophomore workhorse Roman Trussov has posted numerous NCAA “B” cut times in every meet this year, and breakout sophomore star Charles Holliday impressed his team with two first-place finishes as well as a third victory as a member of the 400-freestyle relay in the meet against Michigan State.

Fellow sophomores Jackson Allen and Andrew Parker have also managed to improve every single meet since coming to Iowa.

Divers

Last but not least, Iowa’s diving squad has seen a tremendous turnaround in the past few weeks.

While the Hawkeyes struggled early against the depth of Notre Dame and Denver last weekend, sophomore Addison Boschult was able to end the weekend on a high note, posting a final score of 373.85 to win the event and set an Iowa school record in the process.

“I think the only place we as team have to go is up,” he said. “I think we’ve been improving every time we competed, so I think it’s definitely going to go up from here.”


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