Hello and welcome to the first edition of the Go Iowa Awesome Non-Revenue Roundup. Each week, the Roundup will highlight the teams and athletes that may not otherwise get their due. This week, we'll focus on the recent release of schedules and the prestigious accomplishment by one track and field star.
Swimming & Diving
In late August, long before Gary Barta came under fire for his College Football Playoff choices, he caught some (well-deserved) heat for the announcement that four Iowa sports would be permanently cut after the 2020-21 seasons as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving were two of the unfortunate victims (the others were Men's Tennis and Men's Gymnastics). Iowa wasn't the only school to cut sports, but that didn't make the pill any easier to swallow. It was a gut punch to athletes that spent their whole lives working to achieve a goal, only to have it ripped from them due to circumstances outside their control.
The Hawks are hard at work preparing for their impending season, but Hawkeye Aleksey Tarasenko has already taken home a victory this season, placing first in the 200-meter freestyle at the US Open Championships in November.
Iowa will kick off its shortened Big Ten season starting on January 15th against the Wisconsin Badgers. It will no doubt be an emotional season for a group dealt an impossible hand. Here's hoping they can make a storybook ending out of a horrible situation.
- The full Women's schedule can be found here and the Men's schedule can be found here
Men's Gymnastics was another unfortunate victim of the athletic department cuts and the team's 2021 season will be its last. The Big Ten has yet to release the season schedule but is still hopeful that a full season will be able to take place.
- The 2021 Women's Gymnastics schedule was released last week. Iowa's first meet will take place January 16th, with the Hawks traveling to Minneapolis to take on Minnesota. Nine regular season meets are scheduled before the conference tournament on March 20. Iowa's team will be led by WGCA 2nd team All-American and first-team all Big-Ten gymnast Lauren Guerin. The team is ranked 25th in the preseason WGCA poll. The full schedule can be found here.
- Men's Tennis was also a victim of cuts and the 2021 season will be their final season. A full schedule has yet to be released, but the #23 ranked Hawks are scheduled to compete at the ITA kickoff event on January 22nd and 23rd. Just like the three other cut sports, you can't help but feel for the kids that have had their collegiate athletic experienced derailed due to unforeseen circumstances.
After seeing their fall season canceled, Iowa's volleyball team could finally breathe a sigh of relief when the season schedule was released on December 30th. The schedule is spread over 11 weeks, with two matches against a school scheduled for each week. Iowa's week one opponent is Illinois, who will travel to Iowa City for matches on January 22nd and 23rd.
The January 22nd match will also mark Iowa's first match in their new home, Coralville's Xtream Arena. The 5,100 seat arena opened in the fall and will be the permanent home of the Iowa volleyball team moving forward. It's a great development for the team, who will now have a dedicated arena, creating a more energetic atmosphere compared to the awkwardness of draped curtains at Carver-Hawkeye, and ensuring they no longer have to battle for court time with basketball teams. Hopefully, the students will still find their way out to support the team.
- The full Volleyball schedule can be found here.
Track and Field
- Neither the Men's nor Women's teams have had their 2021 season schedules released yet, but one Hawkeye has already accomplished a Herculean feat. On November 23rd, Iowa's own Marissa Mueller was named a Rhodes Scholar. The Ontario-born javelin-thrower was one of Canada's 11 recipients and the 22nd Iowa student to receive the prestigious award, becoming only the second female Hawkeye to do so. After graduating in May, Mueller will spend two years studying stem cells and regenerative engineering at the University of Oxford in England. It's an absolutely massive accomplishment and is more than deserving of its own shout-out here
Big congratulations to University of Iowa's Marissa Mueller on being named a Rhodes Scholar, the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship award in the world. We could not be more excited or proud: https://t.co/6vPVg3wOKT pic.twitter.com/Z0AwWByi7H— University of Iowa (@uiowa) November 23, 2020
It's a major relief for many Hawkeye athletes to know that they'll have a chance to compete after a crazy start to the school year. By the end of the month, an almost full slate of Iowa sports will be upon us and one more tiny piece of the world can start to feel normal again.