Hawkeyes Climb Leaderboard at Big Ten Championships

Courtesy: University of Iowa Athletics

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa men's swimming and diving team moved up four spots from Wednesday in the team race to fourth place and broke school records in the 50 free, 100 back, 200 IM and 400 medley relay during Thursday's finals of the 2012 Big Ten Championships.

"This was our first day to really score points individually," said Head Coach Marc Long. "The first set of relays have recently been challenging for us as far as moving up. We broke school records last night and we knew things were looking pretty good. How we train and how we compete is all about racing and that is what we talked about leading up to the championships."

Manuel Belzer qualified for the finals heat of the 500 free with a collegiate best time of 4:21.48 during the morning preliminaries. He was seeded eighth in the event going into finals and went on to place sixth overall in the event with a time of 4:21.79. Belzer's best time of 4:21.48 ranks eighth in school history. Patrick Weigand finished 22nd overall in the event with a time of 4:29.38. He posted a collegiate best time of 4:27.77 during preliminaries.

During the morning preliminaries Tyler Lentz broke his school record in the 200 IM with a time of 1:47.31. He set his previous record last season with a time of 1:47.51. Lentz competed in the consolation finals heat in the event and reset the school record with a time of 1:46.82. Kyle Nose placed 15th overall in the event with a time of 1:47.88. He swam a collegiate best time of 1:47.85 during the preliminaries, which ranks third overall in school history.

Ryan Phelan broke a 22-year old school record in the 50 free during the morning preliminaries. Phelan touched the wall in a time of 19.52. The previous record was set in 1989 by Dave Kohmestscher with a time of 19.66. Phelan went on to place fifth overall in the event with a time of 19.73.

Duncan Partridge and Paul Gordon represented the Hawkeyes, alongside Phelan, in the championship heat of the 50 free. Partridge posted a collegiate best time of 19.68 in the event to place fourth overall. Gordon finished sixth in the event with a time of 19.80. Gordon posted a collegiate best time of 19.71 at the morning preliminaries.

The quartet of Grant Betulius, Andrew Marciniak, Byron Butler and Partridge established a new school record in the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:11.87. The previous record was held by Dustin Rhoads, Sean Hagan, Gordon and Partridge with a time of 3:14.12. Betulius led off the relay and set a new school record in the 100 back with a time of 47.17. He held the previous record at 47.65, which he set earlier this season at the Hawkeye Invitational.

Hawkeye Diver Osvel Molina competed in the championship final of the one-meter springboard. He placed eighth overall in the event with a score of 347.55.

"We have two big days ahead of us. We've got to come out strong tomorrow morning and try and keep the momentum going," added Long.

Iowa currently sits in fourth place in the team standings with 152 points. Michigan leads the team race with 253 points, followed by Ohio State (218) and Indiana (189) in second and third, respectively.

The Championships resume with preliminaries on Friday morning beginning at 11 a.m. Friday's finals will follow at 6:30 p.m.
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