Iowa swimming and diving prepares for tough slate

In his 14th year as a joint head coach, Marc Long is ready to lead his athletes to a ranked status.

Swimmers+look+at+the+scoreboard+during+the+Iowa+Swimming+and+Diving+Intrasquad+Meet+at+the+Campus+Recreation+and+Wellness+Center+on+Saturday%2C+September+29%2C+2018.+%28Shivansh+Ahuja%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
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Iowa swimming and diving prepares for tough slate

Swimmers look at the scoreboard during the Iowa Swimming and Diving Intrasquad Meet at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Saturday, September 29, 2018. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Swimmers look at the scoreboard during the Iowa Swimming and Diving Intrasquad Meet at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Saturday, September 29, 2018. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Shivansh Ahuja

Swimmers look at the scoreboard during the Iowa Swimming and Diving Intrasquad Meet at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Saturday, September 29, 2018. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Shivansh Ahuja

Shivansh Ahuja

Swimmers look at the scoreboard during the Iowa Swimming and Diving Intrasquad Meet at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Saturday, September 29, 2018. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Tanner DesPlanque, Sports Reporter

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Iowa’s swimming and diving team is gearing up for the beginning of a highly competitive season.

The Hawkeyes will face Minnesota and South Dakota State on Saturday and will continue against Michigan and Denver at home on Nov. 2.

These next two meets will feature the Hawkeyes trying to take advantage of the tough competition to climb in the rankings.

Iowa has some returning stars on both the men’s and women’s squads, which are coming off of NCAA meet performances. Now, with that in the back of his mind, head coach Marc Long is ready for his athletes to get back into the competitive pool after almost a month of strict training.

“Well, we just want to see some great racing,” he said. “It’s so early right now. This was a very intense week … It’s going to help develop their talents.”

Both the men’s and women’s teams look completely different after losing a combined 19 letter-winners from last season. The men’s team replaced eight letter-winners with seven freshmen, and the women replaced their 11 with only four freshmen.

Dealing with adversity and talented athletes is nothing new for Long. This will be his 15th season as head coach for Iowa men’s team. He has an overall record of 174-105 in his 14 years of leading both programs.

This season, Long has led both Hawkeye teams to victories at Michigan State and led the women to fourth place at the SMU Classic.

The fourth-place finish at the SMU Classic featured tough racing against some of the nation’s best. Iowa finished behind No. 8 Louisville, No. 10 Virginia, and No. 11 Southern California.

Long’s reputation as a coach goes far beyond just wins and losses. Since he has been head coach, 144 records have been broken. There are only two current women record holders on the swimming side, and Hannah Burvill owns five individual records. The men’s team features five swimming record holders and one in the diving well.

RELATED: Iowa women’s swimming heads to SMU to face top competition

Those records push the athletes toward the NCAAs, and experience sets up high expectations even though the Hawkeyes are not deep into the season yet.

“We know it’s early in the season, but for someone like Hannah [Burvill], who is doing world-class-type times and coming back from making NCAAs last year, it’s a great opportunity for her but also everyone else,” Long said.

Long’s coaching style has helped the Hawkeyes become faster and stronger throughout training.

Making the jump from high-school swimming to college racing is a big jump and can at time create gaps, but Long helps his athletes transition effectively.

“I think [Long] has made a big impact on me,” senior Matt Kamin said. “He was my main coach freshman year, and a lot of things he taught me specifically helped me really to bridge that gap from the speed I was in high school to how fast I am now. He helped me set that baseline.”

Tough and diligent preparation is the standard Long holds for his entire team. This type of building skills and improvement is seen throughout the whole team and is critical for the team’s mentality, especially as it prepares for a tough season ahead.

 

 

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