Iowa swimming and diving encouraged by success at time trials and U.S. Open

The team has had a difficult fall is persevering with great showings in some recent swims.


Ryan Adams

Iowa Head Coach Marc Long gives a speech to his swimmers after a swim meet at the CRWC on January 11, 2020 between Iowa, Illinois, and Notre Dame. The Hawkeye men’s team defeated the fighting Irish 159.50 to 140.50 while the Hawkeye women’s team defeated the fighting Illini 223 to 86 and lost to the fighting Irish 99.50 to 209.50.

Ben Palya, Sports Reporter

It has been a difficult semester for the Iowa swim and dive team. Whether it was hearing that the program was cut, or still having no word on a Big Ten schedule, the team would likely be forgiven if it felt frustrated and checked out.

That is not the case so far, however, as the team keeps morale high and reacts well to these changes. Just this week, three people on the team transferred. The team has carried on and is looking forward to competing for the last time — whenever that may be.

“I’m really proud of them,” head coach Marc Long said. “We have a shell of a staff, the obvious drop of the program, and teammates are leaving. They’ve kept the morale up, they want to get better, they’re still proud of their school and it shows what kind of people they are.”

The men’s team was ranked 25th in the preseason College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America poll, a sign of the progress the team has continued to make throughout the last few years.

After an intrasquad meet earlier in the year, the team was able to amplify things and conduct a time trial event right before Thanksgiving break. The event was held over a three-day period and had some of the fastest swims for many of the athletes since March.

“It was good to get some times up on the board and see where everyone was at, and a lot of people surprised themselves,” senior Daniel Swanepool said. “Personally, I’m still getting back into it, but I’m seeing some progress after quarantine and not being able to train for a long time.”

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The U.S. Open meet took place on Nov. 13 in Des Moines, where several Iowa athletes competed. The event was switched up this year and divided into regions because of the pandemic, but was a good experience to those who went.

Aleksey Tarasenko was the standout in the event, winning the 100 and 200 freestyle with an impressive time of 1:51.99. He also managed to finish third in the 50-meter free with a time of 22.89.

“I did not have any expectations for my time because we had a long break out of the pool and did not have a proper practice time, so I told myself to swim fast,” he said.

Mallory Jump put in an impressive showing as well, finishing second in the 200-meter fly and fifth in the 200-meter IM.

Ryan Pudy, John Colin, and Kennedy Gilbertson all put in notable performances as well.

The U.S. Open meet was a long course event, meaning the pool is 50 instead of 25 meters in length. None of the athletes got a chance to compete at the proper length beforehand, which made preparing difficult.

“We had a little group of people who were going to Des Moines, and we had our own practice for a little bit,” Tarasenko said. “We could not switch the pool to a long course, so we were practicing with short course lengths, so that’s why it was hard to expect something from the long course.”