Swimming, diving teams will wrap season at Big 12 Championships


Photo: David Derong/Iowa State Daily

Emily Wiltsie, freshman on the Cyclone swim team, competes against Kristin Strecker, freshman on the Nebraska swim team, during the 200-yard breaststroke event Saturday Jan. 29 at Beyer Hall. Wiltsie pulled ahead and beat Strecker by 1.43 seconds.

Nate Ryan

The ISU swimming and diving team will wrap up their season at the Big 12 Championships on Feb. 23 to 26 in Austin, Texas. 

“We always have a history of swimming our best performance [at the Big 12 Championships],” said coach Duane Sorenson.

This will be the final meet for the seniors on the team. With experience on their side from past Big 12 Championships, this set of seniors is looking to have a relaxing, yet competitive, final go. 

“They know this their last opportunity to swim on a competitive team,” Sorenson said.

A meet like the Big 12 Championships can be intimidating if one hasn’t competed in it before. 

“Coming into this meet experience is big,” said diving coach Jeff Warrick. “[The seniors] are seasoned with being in the meet and I think they’re going to come in and put it all together.”

The seniors also have the task of helping the freshmen how to prepare for the biggest event of the year.

“We use the seniors to explain what the meet is going to be like and to just calm their nerves down,” Sorenson said.

Going into the championships, the topic of nerves often is brought up, but the more experienced swimmers and divers aren’t feeling as much pressure.

“I’ve been feeling very relaxed and excited about this meet,” said junior diver Sarah Nelson. “It’s best to feel relaxed, but also excited and ready to compete.”

Senior Jenny Vondenkamp is also feeling that relaxation set in for her final meet. 

“It’s my fourth time around,” Vondenkamp said. “I think the excitement will still be there, but it will be more relaxing. We always talk about being confident in yourself.”

Sorenson said he will be looking forward to seeing the breaststroke events at this year’s championships. 

“They’ve always been our strongest races,” Sorenson said. “Point-wise, those are the events we think we can really do well in.”

Competition begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday and continues the next three days with preliminaries at 10 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.