September 2019

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26 B efore Marc Long's Hall of Fame swimming career, there was a winding path to the University of Iowa. Long's journey to Iowa City started in his hometown of Cedar Falls at the University of Northern Iowa, but those weren't his initial plans. "I had signed to go to a Division III school, Luther College," said Long. "My brother went to Luther to start his college career and the coach was persistent in recruiting me. en I had the UNI coach convince me I could be a Division I swimmer." During Long's freshman season at Northern Iowa his times continued to drop. At his first Midwest Independent League Championships, he qualified for the 100-yard butterfly final with one of the final two preliminary times. From the outside lane, Long swam to his first conference crown. "I remember thinking I had been told to pace myself, so I was going to just go," said Long. "I ended up winning the race. My dad was in the stands and it was the last big meet he saw. In a lot of ways, it was a breakout meet and I knew I had to move on. "I was grateful to UNI, but I felt that another school would provide me with other opportunities. Iowa was the school I wanted to attend. Deep down I was always a Hawkeye. My grandpa ran track there briefly, and I was a Hawkeye at heart." Long transferred to the University of Iowa in 1987 and parlayed his opportunity into a National Iowa Varsity Athletics Club Hall of Fame career. He was a six-time All-American, three-time Big Ten champion, two-time All-Big Ten selection, and a U.S. National champion during his three-year career. "is is a great honor," said Long, who has served as Iowa's head swimming and diving coach since 2004. "Over the years we have had athletes who have gotten inducted and I have gotten to know them well. It was surreal to get that call for me, it's a tremendous honor." Long says his move to Iowa City put him in a new realm of the swimming world. ere were more resources at his disposal, he became exposed to international swimming, and became entrenched in a culture of winning. "We wanted to win," said Long. "In this program, you were surrounded by a lot people that are aer the same things." e Hawkeyes were the Big Ten Championships runner-up in 1987 and finished 18th at the NCAA Championships. It was during his first conference meet where Long had a breakthrough moment in the 100 fly. "I finished third and just missed the NCAA cut," said Long. "I time-trialed aer the session and swam a time that would have won it. I remember getting out of the water and all the people who had beat me were standing there. "e coaches told me years later that they were talking about not taking me to that championship. It was a big step going to that meet and getting third behind the eventual NCAA champion." Long became Iowa's first Big Ten 100 fly champion and All-American in 1988 and he repeated the feat in 1989. He swam the second-fastest time in Big MARC LONG

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