Men's swimming finishes eighth at Big Ten championships


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After four days of competition, the Iowa men’s swimming and diving team finished eighth at the 2014 Big Ten championships in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The Hawkeyes finished more than 100 points behind seventh-place Wisconsin and nearly 700 behind defending national champion Michigan, which repeated as Big Ten champs.

It was the fourth-consecutive Big Ten championship in men’s swimming for the Wolverines.

The Hawkeyes went into the finals with more experience than perhaps any other school, having swum against every Big Ten opponent except for Penn State at least once in dual meets.

The Black and Gold were in pretty good shape after day of competition, sitting comfortably in seventh with 44 points. The day was highlighted by a pair of top-10 school records in the only two races of the day, the 200-medley relay and the 800-freestyle relay.

Junior Grant Betulius and seniors Andrew Marciniak, Dustin Rhoads, and Gianni Sesto touched out in 1:26.33, the second-best time in school history. They finished sixth in the event.

Freshman Peter Grumhaus, sophomore David Ernstsson, and seniors Sesto and Manuel Belzer finished in 6:31.59 to record the 10th-fastest time in program history in the 800.

In fact, despite their low finish in the standings, the Hawks’ time in Ann Arbor was punctuated by a multitude of impressive personal finishes for many of the swimmers.

Freshman Nick Zito had a career day during the second afternoon of competition, swimming the fourth-fastest time in program history during the finals of the 200 individual medley after touching in 1:47.88.

The time was a season best for Zito, as well as an NCAA “B” cut time.

However, Iowa’s biggest statement came on the third day of the meet.

Marciniak, Rhoads, and Betulius scored    efforts for the Hawkeyes.

Marciniak bested his own school record, touching in the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 53.58, 0.01 of a second faster than his previous mark.

Rhoads and Betulius also swam scoring times in the 100 backstroke. Rhoads, who swam in the “A” final, posted a time of 46.79, while Betulius swam a 48.19 while swimming in the “B” final. The two placed sixth and 14th.

While it was a marquee weekend for many of Iowa’s seniors who capped off their college careers with impressive showings in the final day of competition, Rhoads stole the show, setting a school record in the 200 back.

His time of 1:44.93 earned him eighth place.

The Black and Gold also received significant contributions from the divers.

Addison Boschult took home fifth place in the platform, tallying 371.10 points. The mark falls just shy of his school record of 373.85, which he set this past fall at the Hawkeye Invitational.

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