The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Men’s swimming set for new season

Iowa swimmer Brian Donatelli prepares to dive into the pool for the 200 fly relay during the Iowa Invited on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. Donatelli broke his leg only 49 days before the event and had been training on it. (The Daily Iowan/Margaret Kispert)

Iowa will begin competition on Friday.

By Ian Murphy
[email protected]

With a new season upon it, the Iowa men’s swimming and diving team has high aspirations.

Building on NCAAs

The Campus Recreation & Wellness Center pool was home to both the men’s Big Ten Championships and the men’s NCAA Championships.

The meets went off without a hitch, and reviews on the pool and Iowa City were generally positive.

Now, however, the challenge for the Hawkeyes will be building on the moment. Iowa sent four swimmers and a diver, now-senior Addison Boschult, to the meet last year, with three of the four swimmers, sophomore Jerzy Twarowski, senior Roman Trussov, and junior Jackson Halsmer back for more.

Twarowski and Halsmer qualified as a member of relays, and they figure to be some of the top sprint freestylers this year, while Trussov had a breakout season in both the 100 and 200 breaststrokes a year ago.

With the success of last season come lofty expectations, especially from the coaching staff.

“In a lot of ways, it was kind of like we’ve arrived,” head coach Mark Long said. “The program is on the map.”

However, Long and his swimmers would to see a different result than a season ago, where they did placed 35th at the NCAA Championships. Iowa’s only points came from Boschult, who was an honorable mention All-American platform diver.

“We’re excited to get there and score more points,” Boschult said.

Replacing the stars

The only member of the NCAA team who graduated was also the Hawkeyes’ best swimmer last season.

Grant Betulius was a member of each of the Hawkeyes NCAA qualifying relays and qualified for the championships. He also set records in the 100 and 200 backstrokes for the Hawkeyes and posted the Hawkeyes only individual NCAA A qualifying time, which guarantees a spot at the NCAA meet.

The Hawkeyes will certainly miss his speed in the pool. Losing a swimmer such as Betulius to graduation will undoubtedly mean others will have to step up.

Halsmer, one of those swimmers who figures to be a big contributor, said despite his graduation, Betulius’ presence can certainly still be felt.

“His name is on the record board,” Halsmer said. “He’s still motivating us.”

International push

The Hawkeyes have several new faces they are hoping will make an impact, with two of them from overseas.

Freshman Jack Smith and redshirt freshman Kenneth Mende hail from Stroke-On-Trent, England and Chemnitz, Germany, respectively.

Both are expected make contributions right away. Mende, a backstroker, will help fill the hole left behind by Betulius, as his 47.66 100 backstroke time would rank him as the fourth-fastest backstroker in program history.

Smith, meanwhile, comes in as a highly touted sprinter. He set several age-group records in England, in addition to anchoring England’s 4×100 medley relay at the European Junior Championships.

Smith competed in short-course meters, 25 meters (an Olympic pool is 50 meters); coming to America means the new Hawkeye will race in 25-yard pools, a shorter distance.

But the biggest change for Smith hasn’t been the distance.

“The time is weird,” Smith said. “I’ll call home, and it’s midnight there.”

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