Men’s swimming and diving finishes sixth at Big Tens

A historic meet with record-breaking times ended in a sixth-place finish at this year’s Big Ten Championships.


Katie Goodale/The Daily Iowan

Anze Fers Erzen competes in the Men’s 200 Individual Medley bonus final during the second day of the 2019 Big Ten Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships at the CRWC on Thursday, February 28, 2019. Fers Erzen placed sixth in the bonus final with a time of 1:46:92.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

At the end of yet another record-setting week for the Hawkeye swimming and diving program, the men’s team claimed sixth place at the conference meet in Bloomington, Indiana, with a meet total of 571 points.

The sixth-place finish was the highest for Iowa since the 2011-12 season.

This season’s showing was a considerable improvement over the Hawkeyes’ eighth place finish a year ago when Iowa hosted the event at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.

The host Hoosiers — who had won the previous three conference titles — finished third with 1,321.5 points. Michigan took the Big Ten crown scoring 1,548, and Ohio State was second with 1,329.

The Hawkeyes used countless season and career-bests to reach sixth in the final standings and posted four school records in the process.

Two of the Hawkeye records belonged to sophomore Anze Fers Erezen.

Erzen, a native of Ljbljana, Slovenia, posted times that now top the Iowa history books in the 200-back and 400-individual medley.

He began his success on the first day of the conference meet when he set the 200-back record in time trials following the conclusion of Feb. 26’s official events. He touched in 1:41.64, beating his previous career best by exactly one second. The finish was good enough to secure an NCAA ‘B’ cut.

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The time takes the top spot from Kenneth Mende’s 2018 swim of 1:42.12.

Erzen’s other record came on Feb. 28 when he topped the school record previously held by Chris Dawson. Lentz’s mark of 3:46.80 had stood for two years until,  in the prelims of the 400-IM, Erzen finished in 3:46.66.

That time qualified the Hawkeye sophomore for the ‘B’ final where he crushed his morning time be nearly a second, finishing 10th in the event with a new Iowa record of 3:45.76

The other two team records to fall were in the 800-free relay and 200-breast races, both on the first day of competition in Bloomington.

Sophomores Aleksey Tarasenko, Mateusz Arndt, and Andrew Fierke, along with senior Michael Tenney, made up the relay team that smashed the standing Hawkeye record of 6:23.07 in the 800-free. The quartet swam to a time of 6:20.84 and a fifth-place finish, giving the Black and Gold 50 points in the overall meet standings.

Daniel Swanepoel, a junior hailing from Cape Town, South Africa, set the school’s fastest ever mark in a time trial for the 200-breast. His finish of 1:54.02 breaks the 1:54.57 record set by now-Hawkeye assistant coach Roman Trussov back in 2015.

Up next for Iowa, both the men’s and women’s programs will send members of their diving teams to Dallas, Texas, for the NCAA Zone D Diving Championships.

The women’s team has three qualifiers as senior Thelma Strandberg, junior Jayah Mathews, and sophomore Sam Tamborski each scored high enough to make the trip.

Freshman Mohamed Neumann and junior Anton Hoherz will travel and represent the men’s team.

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