Swimmers prepare for Big 12 Championships

Travis Cammon

The ISU swimming and diving team will head to Columbia, Mo., this week for the Big 12 Championships.

“Everyone’s really pumped for this,” said coach Duane Sorenson. “It’s an opportunity to swim fast, and if you’re prepared, you’re going to have success.”

The Cyclones (5-3, 1-0 Big 12) will strive to continue momentum they gained from their 158-142 victory against Kansas on Feb. 3.

“[The Big 12 Championships are] the reward for the season,” said junior Dani Harris. “It’s really exciting and you really just go into it trusting what you have done all season, and really, when you look at it that way, it’s one of the best places to be.”

Harris competed in the Big 12 Championships last year, where she placed sixth in the 200 medley relay, sixth in the 200 free relay, 13th in the 100 backstroke and 12th in the 200 backstroke. However, Harris has been sidelined for much of this season due to various injuries.

“I definitely had to overcome a lot this season,” Harris said. “Last season, I took this for granted, but now I think that’s it’s taught me a lot. It reminded me to compete with passion.”

For most of the season, the Cyclones have been led by a majority of underclassmen.

“Ideally, we want everyone to swim season-best times,” Sorenson said. “Our freshmen have been leading the team this year, so we would really like to see them step up and get after it.”

One of those newcomers, although not quite a freshman, is sophomore transfer Imelda Wistey, who tied for the most event victories on the season with 22. Wistey will be competing in the Big 12 Championships for the first time ever.

“I envision it being really huge,” Wistey said. “I think being here [at Iowa State], I’ve grown more than just physically. I think I’ve grown more mentally; I’m much more prepared and much more focused.”

In the diving well, senior Sarah Nelson and junior Jessica Henderson will be the leaders for the Cyclones at the championships as they have been the top two finishers for Iowa State virtually the entire season.

“Jessica and Sarah have shown a really high level of consistency at the end here,” said diving coach Jeff Warrick. “This is what I want to see every year as far as consistency. Sometimes we don’t quite get it, and I wish I had a perfect formula to make it happen, but for them it is happening.”

Texas, Texas A&M, Missouri and Kansas will be Iowa State’s competition at the Big 12 Championships. Action it set to begin Wednesday and conclude Saturday.