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Hawkeyes miss qualifying for finals

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

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The Iowa men’s swimming and diving team had high hopes for the first day of the NCAA Championships in the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center on Thursday.

The Hawkeyes needed to place in the top 16 of the field of 24 in the 400-medley relay to make it back to the finals for a chance at a second swim.

However, that didn’t materialize. The Hawkeyes finished 19th at 3:10.03, adding almost a second and a half over their seed time of 3:08.56.

Had the foursome of senior Grant Betulius, junior Roman Trussov, freshman Jerzy Twarowski, and sophomore Jackson Halsmer swam to seed, they would have qualified 16th and put the Hawkeyes on the board in the team race.

“It’s disappointing,” head coach Marc Long said. “We would have liked to make the top 16 and score points.”

To rebound for today’s swims, which include the 200-medley relay, the Hawkeyes say they will put the race behind them.

Betulius, who split a 46.60 as the leadoff leg, said the Hawkeyes would do speed work to be prepared for the next sessions of swimming.

He, like Long, said he was disappointed in the swim.

“It’s tough knowing we would have made it back with what went at Big Tens,” Betulius said. “We just have to move on.”

A bright spot for the relay came in the form of Halsmer’s 43.70 anchor leg. Halsmer looked strong through his 100, and although it was not enough to bring the Hawkeyes back, it does indicate good things coming in the other relay. The rest of the relay, however, was off.

“We really don’t know. It felt fast,” Trussov said. “It’s hard to analyze.”

He said the relay felt strong through the first 50, but faded over the second half. Again, that bodes well for today’s 200-medley relay, but did not for the 400, in which the Hawkeyes needed that second-half speed.

“Me and Jerzy, something went wrong,” Trussov said. Trussov split a 52.76 in the breaststroke, while Twarowski was 47.00 on the butterfly leg.

Now, the Hawkeyes turn their attention to the other medley relay. Betulius has the 100 backstroke, and Trussov has the 100 breaststroke.

“We want to be top 16 in the 200 medley and get honorable mention All-American,” Betulius said.

Betulius especially has a good shot at making the finals. He said the 200 medley relay will be good to help him warm up for his individual 100 backstroke. Heading into preliminaries, Betulius is seeded eighth.

The senior said the relay will have moved past Thursday’s performance and be ready to go the second time around in the shorter distance.

“These guys will be ready to go, me included,” Betulius said. “It was disappointing but we have another shot [today].”

Follow @IanFromIowa on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis from the NCAA Championship meet.


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