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Hawkeyes head north

BY SHELBY STITES and IAN MURPHY | OCTOBER 31, 2014 5:00 AM

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The water may seem colder in Minnesota as the leaves begin to fall and the seasons start to change, but as the Hawkeyes cross the border into the Gopher State today, don’t be surprised if steam starts to rise from the water.

Both the men’s and women’s Hawkeye swimming teams are coming off wins at Michigan State and hope to use that momentum as they hunt for another Big Ten win.

“I'm really looking forward to watch our team go up against one of the top teams in the Big Ten,” senior captain Becky Stoughton said. “This will be a big meet for us and a lot of fun to be a part of.”

Stoughton is off to a fast start this year along with world-ranked sophomore Emma Sougstad. These two swimmers are ones this young Iowa team looks up to as they head into Minnesota tonight.

The Gophers women’s team is 3-0 in meets this season and has only gone up against Wisconsin in Big Ten competition. Minnesota comes into this meet tied for the 13th ranking with Louisville in NCAA polls.

This shows no fear in the eyes of this young Iowa team, as it continues to show growth at every entry into the pool. The Hawkeyes enter Minneapolis with a 2-1 record, their sole loss against Michigan in the season-opener.

As for the men, this matchup dates back to 1920, with the Hawkeyes holding a 48-40 advantage in the series against the Gophers.

“I would say Minnesota is one of our biggest rivals,” senior Grant Betulius said.

Betulius returns for his senior season as a Hawkeye and is the most accomplished swimmer on the Hawkeye roster.

However, Minnesota has dominated the last 12 seasons these two competitors have gone head to head. The Gophers hold an 11-1 edge; Iowa’s only win came in the 2011-12 season. Minnesota is currently 2-1 returning from a fourth-place finish at the Big Ten championships last season.

“They’ve had a great swim program for several decades, and a real Midwest power the last couple decades,” head coach Marc Long said. “We’re just going up and preparing to swim fast and dive well.”

The men come into this matchup ranked 23rd in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America against a 2-1 Golden Gopher team. Despite the focus on the end of the season, the Hawkeyes still have a tough match up against the rival across the boarder.

Both teams continue to feel excitement as the team’s rebuilding process is starting to show results.

“It’s a Big Ten dual meet, we always want to perform well, but our eyes are on the end of the season,” Long said.


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