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Hawkeye swimmers slip on Day Two

BY IAN MURPHY | FEBRUARY 27, 2015 5:00 AM

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A different kind of storm brewed on Thursday night in the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center pool, one unlike Wednesday’s snow.

This was a storm of scoring from the likes of Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio State, and Purdue.
It seemed like every team, with the exception of Michigan State and Iowa, joined the party. In many ways, the first full day of the championship meet was simply not the Hawkeyes’ day.

“It’s mixed feelings,” head coach Marc Long said. “Our 800-free relay and these next three [individual events], we just have to work through it.”

Iowa worked through it as best it could, with a 15th-place finish from sophomore Kyle Gannon in the 500 freestyle and a 14th-place finish in the 50 freestyle from sophomore Jackson Halsmer.

The 400-medley relay of senior Grant Betulius, junior Roman Trussov, freshman Jerzy Twarowski, and Halsmer, seeded first by a half-second margin, dropped to fifth. The relay still set a school record and an A cut, but the Hawkeyes are taking it with a grain of salt.

“The bottom line is we got that A cut and we’re into NCAAs but with some hunger,” Long said. “We know we can go faster.”

The Hawkeyes will likely be faster at the NCAA meet, especially considering Betulius and Halsmer’s splits were not up to their usual standards.

Even in the swim, however, there were individual positives, including Trussov’s blistering 51.71-second breaststroke spit and Twarowski’s 46.30.

“I think we can do better overall; we’re just having a hard time putting it together as a team,” Trussov said.

Putting it together may be the key for the Hawkeyes, and the pieces should start falling into place today. The Hawkeyes are a better stroke team than individual medley or mid-distance freestyle, which the first two days heavily favored.

“It’s not fun to see [our] place up there,” Long said. “It’s time to start climbing up and getting into scoring positions.”

On a positive note for the Hawkeyes, for the first time in diving coach Todd Waikel’s tenure, Iowa sent a diver to the consolation finals.

Junior Addison Boschult finished in 16th place on the 1-meter board, another positive for a program that had just one diver on the roster when Waikel arrived.

“Since I’ve been here, we’ve never scored anyone on the 1-meter” Waikel said. “It’s definitely a step in the right direction.”

The goal for the divers was to qualify someone for the finals, and they did that. From Thursday on, the dives get taller and the Hawkeyes get better, concluding with Boschult’s best event, the towers, on Saturday.

There is a good amount of work to be done in both the well and the pool, however. The Hawkeyes still have several steps to climb, and unlike the steps up to the 10-meter platform, climbing up the Big Ten ranks won’t happen just by putting one foot in front of the other.

“Every time you step up, you want to win your heat,” Long said. “We have the opportunity to score a lot of individual points.”


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