Conor Dwyer: GO IOWA AWESOME Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Last night, the United States won a gold medal in the 4x200 meter freestyle relay with a blistering time of 6:59.70. That relay team was bookended by swimming superstars Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps, but as great as they are, they could only swim two of the four legs -- the other two legs were swum by the far-less known Ricky Berens and Conor Dwyer. Why is that significant? Not because they celebrated by scarfing down McDonald's (although that is amusing), but because Dwyer is an Iowa Hawkeye. Or was an Iowa Hawkeye, to be more precise.
Dwyer began his college career at the University of Iowa and swam for the Hawkeyes in 2007-08 and 2008-09. He was a very good swimmer at Iowa, but not a mind-blowingly great one (he doesn't own a host of school records, for instance, nor did he post any Big Ten or NCAA Championships during his brief tenure at Iowa). After the 08-09 season he transferred to Florida where, uh, he got a lot better. He won individual titles at 200m and 500m in 2010 at the NCAA Tournament and was named SEC and NCAA Swimmer of the Year in both 2010 and 2011.
Iowa's claim on Dwyer isn't great and I don't think it's much of a stretch to say that he owes more of his success to his time at Florida than his time at Iowa, but hell -- he's a former Hawkeye and he just won a gold medal. I think we can celebrate that and Florida can share him just a little bit. Congrats to Dwyer and the rest of the relay team on a job very well done and, oh yeah: GO IOWA AWESOME.