Talented, youth-rich squad opens season at home against Wildcats

The IU swimming and diving team opens its 2008-2009 season on Saturday with a home meet against Kentucky at the Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center.

Last year the Hoosiers finished second in the Big Ten Championships and posted a 10th place finish in the NCAA meet. This year, IU will field a young but competitive squad, said IU swimming coach Ray Looze.

“This may be the youngest team I have ever had,” Looze said. “A lot of the guys we are going to be counting on are freshmen and sophomores. It is going to be critical that our senior class and captains do a good job of setting the tone.”

IU lost Ben Hesen, who won the national championship in the 200 backstroke, from last year along with other NCAA point scorers Todd Patrick, John Kevin Koehler, Pat Penoyar and Ronnie Hehn.

The Hoosiers do return senior Matt Lenton and sophomore Ante Zoricic, who both took part in the NCAA meet.

The diving team also lost key members Taylor Roberts and David Legler, but sophomore Landon Marzullo, defending Big Ten Diver of the Year, returns.

In his freshman year, Marzullo won the Big Ten title on the one- and three-meter board and finished fourth at the NCAA meet on the one-meter board.

“Landon is probably our top returning diver,” IU diving coach Jeff Huber said in a statement. “But even though he was Big Ten champion, we really want to see him make some major changes. There is no doubt in my mind he can be the best collegiate diver in the country.”

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