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 swimmers headed to A-town

UI Senior Jackson Allen walks toward the rest of the team after his race in the CRWC on Friday, Oct. 30. 2015. The Hawkeyes fell short to No. 20 Minnesota in the Big Ten Conference Duel Meet. (The Daily Iowan/Brooklynn Kascel)

Atlanta is the destination this week for the best college swimmers and divers in the country, as the season culminates with the NCAA Championships.

The Hawkeyes will send five athletes to the meet, and will compete in five different events.

Senior Roman Trussov will be the busiest Hawkeye in Atlanta, qualifying individually for the 100 and 200-breaststroke, as well as the 200 and 400-medley relay. Freshmen Jack Smith and Kenneth Mende, along with sophomore Jerzy Twarowski will join Trussov on the relays.

Senior Addison Boschult qualified in the diving well off the platform, and will compete in his second consecutive NCAA Championships.

Although this may be the biggest meet of the year, the Hawkeyes are taking a Hoosiers-like approach to the trip.

“You just have to do what you usually do,” Smith said. “At the end of the day, you’re still just swimming four lengths. It’s still water. It’s all the same. You just have to swim your own race.”

Trussov is the most experienced Hawkeye swimmer headed to NCAAs. The Kazakhstan native has two NCAA Championship races under his belt already — finishing 24th in the 100-breaststroke and 28th in the 200-breaststroke in 2015.

The senior currently holds the ninth-fastest time in the nation in the 100-breaststroke at 52.12.

The all-foreign quartet of Trussov, Twarowski, Mende, and Smith hold top-25 times in both the 200 and 400-medley relay, and hope to be crowned All-Americans in the events. To do that, they must finish in the top-16.

The team is ranked 14th nationally in the 400-medley relay after posting a time of 3:07.83 at the Big Ten Championships, good enough to place third.

The Hawkeyes hold the 21st-fastest time in the 200-medley relay, posting a 1:25.67.

Mende, who will take care of the backstroke portion of the two relays, said he is excited to get a chance to compete on the big stage.

“Last year I was redshirting, and I was up in the stands watching,” Mende said. “It was amazing, the whole atmosphere and how fast the meet was itself. So I’m excited to participate in that this year.”

The Hawkeyes, in typical fashion, have downplayed how different the NCAA meet will be, but acknowledged the level of competition they will be swimming against.

At this time last year, Smith was swimming across the pond in England. This will be his first NCAA Championships.

“I’m not really sure what to expect,” Smith said. “I’ve read things about [NCAAs] and heard things about how it’s one of the fastest meets in the world. There are some really fast swimmers there. There are some swimmers that may go on to win Olympic medals next year.”

This year’s NCAA meet will be about getting the younger Hawkeye swimmers some experience on the national level. Mende, Smith, and Twarowski all have multiple years left on campus, and the experience they gain this year will help immensely in the future. Any accolades they may receive in 2016 is an added bonus.

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