When the University of Iowa closes out their season against Western Illinois this weekend, it will not only be the last dual meet for the Hawkeye seniors, but it will also be the last meet for any Hawkeye at the pool that has housed the swim team for an astounding 83 years.
The pool is known simply at the Field House, and was designed in the 1920’s, that’s right 20’s, by Dave Armbruster, who was the Iowa coach for almost 40 years. Armbruster is best known as the inventor of the butterfly stroke, which he pioneered in 1934 as an improvement over the drag of an underwater breaststroke recovery. In 1927, when the Field House opened, it was the largest indoor pool in the world. In the modern day, Iowa can’t even train long course in the pool.
In an article in the Daily Iowan, several Iowa swimmers evoked nostalgia of swimming against the legends of former Iowa greats, like former All-American and Olympian Artur Wojdat. Iowa senior Josh Schubert said “It’s just special with all the former great swimmers we’ve had here, to be able to follow their success. There have been some great Olympians. It’s just fun to be able to swim and train in the same place they did, and follow behind them.”
Iowa has been in rebuilding mode since their glory years from 1980-1995, when the Hawkeyes placed in the top 25 every year. They’re hoping that their gorgeous new facility, that’s the part of a larger brand new student rec center, will help them to again lure top recruits to Iowa City.