November 2013

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Holliday Survived, Now He's Producing P By James Allan ersistence has paid off for Charles Holliday, a sophomore freestyler on the University of Iowa men's swimming and diving team. As a freshman, Holliday was a practice swimmer. He competed in four home events, but wasn't on the travel roster and didn't get the opportunity to prove his worth during the championship season. "Last year was more about survival," said Holliday, a native of Rock Island, Ill. "I was struggling to get through practices. It's a different environment coming in as a freshman from a small high school in Illinois." Holliday knew coming to the UI that he was going to be a little fish in a big pond when he elected to join the Hawkeyes out of Rock Island High School, but he was looking forward to the challenge. "I knew coming in I wasn't the strongest guy on the team, but that's why I chose here," he said. "I knew being at the bottom would help me grow and improve. (It would be more beneficial) starting out lower and getting to the top rather than going to a small school where I would already be at the top of the team. winning 400-free relay (3:04.05), while anchoring the runner-up 200-medley relay (1:31.48). Holliday ranks second on the team in both the 50 and 100 free. "The team loves it," said UI head coach Marc Long of Holliday's rise. "It shows that hard work, commitment, and patience will pay off. What's great now is he is just scratching the surface, and he's seeing there is a whole new world out there." Long says Holliday's attitude and persistence are keys to his emergence. "You have to have something special to stay committed and determined for a year," said Long. "That's a long time in the water. He kept doing it, didn't make the travel team last year, but he kept plugging away. Now he is stepping up and taking advantage of the opportunity and competing well." Long believes Holliday has the competitive drive to continue improving. "That's why I came here so I could be challenged. If I wouldn't have been challenged last year, I wouldn't be going as fast now." "The one thing he has is that determined nature," said Long. "He is competitive, and when he gets an opportunity, he takes it. That's hard to coach, if you have that in you, who knows the possibilities… it's exciting." During his freshman season, Holliday posted top times of 21.11 in the 50 free and 47.64 in the 100 free. Just three meets into his sophomore campaign, Holliday has seen the fruits of his labor pay off. The Hawkeyes return to action Nov. 1, hosting Minnesota at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Pool beginning at 5 p.m. (CT). Iowa will then host the Hawkeye Invitational on Dec. 6-8. In an Oct. 18 dual victory over Michigan State, Holliday won three events. He sprinted to the title in the 50 free in 20.90 seconds, touched out first in the 100 free in 46.34 seconds, and was the lead swimmer in the "It's kind of early to be going as fast as I have been," said Holliday. "I want to keep doing what I am doing, focusing on technical aspects and smooth everything out." 45

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