Swimming, diving simulate Big 12 Championships this weekend


Alex Gustafson, freshman on the Cyclone swim team, is pushed by her teammates during the meet against Nebraska on Saturday afternoon at Beyer Hall. The Cyclones lost the meet to Nebraska, 174-126.

Nate Ryan

Coming off last weekend’s loss to Nebraska, the ISU swimming and diving team is looking to bounce back with a two-day open against Big 12 foe Kansas.

The weekend is also the last dual meet of the season and the final chance to prepare the teams for the Big 12 Championships Feb. 23-26.

Coach Duane Sorenson said the two-day dual meet really gets the swimmers ready to compete at night, eat and sleep, then race right away again the next morning.

“Instead of having a leisurely morning, you’ve got to be on top of your game,” Sorenson said. “It’s such a great tune-up.”

The same is true for the divers.

“It simulates [the Big 12 Championships] pretty much as close as we can,” said diving coach Jeff Warrick. “We just focus on one thing each day.”

At the beginning of the season, Sorenson said the team’s goal was to finish around fifth in the Big 12 and see how close they could come to Kansas.

“They’re a little bit stronger as a dual-meet team, but we’re hoping to close the gap in the Big 12 Championships,” Sorenson said.

Sorenson said some strengths for this weekend’s meet include the breaststroke, the distance races and individual medley races.

“I think it’s a highly important meet,” Warrick said, “with the added benefit of getting us ready for that Big 12 competition.”

Warrick said this meet allows them to slow down and focus on one thing each time out. 

“Dual meets, we dive so quick and we have two events,” Warrick said. “This one will be a little slower like it is at conference.”

Going up against a Big 12 opponent is always important, and with the Jayhawks being strong in many events, the team is preparing for a competitive weekend.

“It’s always going to be a challenge,” Warrick said. “I’m expecting our divers to do well. 

The meet takes place at 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday. in Lawrence, Kan.