Rising Iowa Backstroker Calvin Greve Commits to Minnesota

Calvin Greve, a senior at Linn-Mar High School in Marion, Iowa, has made a verbal commitment to join the University of Minnesota men’s team for the 2015-16 season.

As if it isn’t difficult enough to start year-round swimming as a tenth-grader, Cedar Rapids Aquatics Association’s Greve added another challenge. During the spring of his sophomore year, after having qualified for his first state meet and just as he was about to embark on his very first long course season, Greve was diagnosed with a 40mm Acoustic Schwannoma. He had a very large tumor growing on his auditory nerve that was pressing on his brain stem. Within 48 hours he underwent brain surgery to remove it, ending his sophomore high school season and keeping him out of the first two months of long course meets.

While the surgeon was able to get most of the tumor without damaging the seventh facial nerve (which would have likely halted his swimming career), Greve nevertheless came away from the surgery with complete loss of hearing in his left ear, loss of balance, and loss of taste.

And yet, take a look at these time drops:

Event 2013-14 season 2012-13 season
200y back 1:50.75 2:01.90
200m back 2:09.17 2:24.55
100m back 59.93 1:07.69
100y back 52.60 56.15
200y IM 2:02.88 2:28.12
200m IM 2:20.34 2:44.15
200y free 1:53.52 2:03.82
200m free 2:05.88 2:20.59
100y free 52.43 55.41
100m free 58.20 1:05.04
50m free 27.08 29.44


Greve qualified for Winter Juniors in the 200 back this summer at the Speedo Central Zone Sectional meet in Iowa City. He was a D-finalist in the 100m back and a B-finalist in the 200. At Minnesota he will join a class that already includes commits Bowen Becker, Brian Poon, James Tidd, Michael Messner, and Nick Plachinski.

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
8 years ago

We just had our first meet of the short course season, and he showed he’s definitely on the rise.

23.40 best time
49.62 best time
1:49.03 best time


2:02.90 (off best time by .02)

Starting senior year out right. We’re all very proud of Calvin!

8 years ago

Was he offered by the University of Iowa?

Reply to  PsychoDad
8 years ago

He didn’t apply to Iowa. He is only deaf on the left side.

8 years ago

Nathan is correct. I apologize for not proofreading better.

8 years ago

I suspect you mean he “came away from the surgery with(OUT) complete loss of ….” etc.

Reply to  Catherine
8 years ago

Catherine – according to information received from his mother, no, we meant with complete loss of…. etc.

Reply to  Braden Keith
8 years ago

Great article! Only correction is that his “deafness” only inhibits his hearing in the left ear.

Reply to  Braden Keith
8 years ago

Wow. So sorry to hear this. Just over 5 years ago, I had a medical condition that caused a severe loss of balance for several months. You don’t realize how important balance is in swimming until it’s gone. Best of luck to Calvin.

Paula ( Calvin's Mom)
Reply to  Catherine
8 years ago

His high school coach instituted YOGA, which has helped tremendously. He also works with a licensed physical trainer for an hour twice a week that has one of it’s focuses on balance, he is retraining his body to deal with the loss. He is getting pretty close to his balance being “normal” again. His hearing, on the other hand, will never return, however there is hope that in time the taste will return as well.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

Read More »