Swimming and diving teams prepare for season

Brian Freda

Entering his 16th year as coach of the ISU women’s swimming and diving team, Duane Sorenson believes this year’s team has what it takes to meet his own personal goals as a coach.

“Some years you get there, and some years you don’t,” Sorenson said. “I think this year’s team, we’ve got a lot deeper then we ever have been.”

The team has already set out goals for the season, which Sorenson believes are attainable.

“They’re really training hard and we have some pretty lofty goals,” Sorenson said. “Sometimes the team will set goals that are unrealistic, but this year’s team has really said ‘We can achieve this’.”

While team meets offer competition to motivate players, swimmers and coaches alike are focused on the Big 12 Conference meet at the end of the season. One team goal is to finish in the top three at Big 12.

Junior Imelda Wistey said she wants to make a statement at conference.

“I want to do the best that I can and reach some high individual goals,” Wistey said. “[I want] to place higher then I did last year.”

As some players look forward to returning to the Big 12 meet, others feel robbed of their opportunity last year. Sophomore Liz Kleiner missed her chance to compete after getting sick before the meet.

“I think that it’s a really big driving force,” Kleiner said. “I’m trying to get better [times] and actually be able to show myself this year.”

Sorenson is keeping the same approach that he’s used since beginning at Iowa State 15 years ago — focusing on getting every swimmer he coaches faster times.

“In our sport, we can’t get in front of somebody else, we can’t slow them down,” Sorenson said. “We just have to go out there and take care of ourselves and swim as fast as we can.”

After losing senior divers last year, diving coach Jeff Warrick will count on his players to develop with what they learned last season.

“I’ve really seen some big growth from last year to this year,” Warrick said. “I think we’re building off of last year.”

Senior Dani Harris believes that new blood this year will help to push the team.

“We’ve got an awesome talent pool of freshmen in here,” Harris said. “When you’ve got young people pushing upperclassmen, everyone improves.”

As the ISU swimmers practiced during the summer in preparation for the upcoming season, Wistey was competing in the 2012 Olympic trials. While Wistey worked on her breast stroke, she looked forward to sharing a pool with Olympic candidates.

“Being there was a great experience, one of the best I have ever had,” Wistery said. “It’s not necessarily about going to the Olympic trials to make the Olympics; every great swimmer there is trying to see greatness in themselves.”

The Cyclones will begin their journey through the 2012 season at Minnesota on Oct. 12.