Swimming and diving teams fall to University of Minnesota

Nate Ryan

The ISU swimming and diving teams fell to the University of Minnesota on Saturday, 157-129. Mental focus is the key from here on out for the Cyclones, said coach Duane Sorenson.

“We started off rather poorly and were not racing like we’re capable of racing,” Sorenson said. “We learned that we need to be ready to go right away. It was a wake-up call of learning to get after it.”   

Following the first diving break, the swimmers stepped up. Sophomore Dani Harris stood out for the Cyclones.

“I felt strong physically,” Harris said. “I needed to focus on some technique things a little more.” 

Harris took first in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:06.85 and the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:10.83. She also took second in the 100-yard backstroke.

“Dani is a great competitor and always wants to get better,” Sorenson said.  

Freshman Emily Wiltsie also had a strong showing.

Wiltsie rushed a little in the 100-yard breaststroke, but finished strong as she came in third with a time of 1:07.67. Wiltsie finished a strong second in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:25.96, just more than one second behind Minnesota’s Katie Johnson.  

“She did a really nice job in the 200 breaststroke pacing and really trusting her technique,” Sorenson said.  

Diver Jennifer Botsch accomplished a big goal in her 3-meter dive. Botsch earned a score of 283.35, while only needing 280 points to qualify for the NCAA Zone meet. Botsch had never qualified before, and coach Jeff Warrick said it was special for her to qualify on the very first meet of the season.  

“For her to do it in the first possible meet of the year was just really exciting,” Warrick said. “I knew she had it in her.”

Sarah Nelson also dove well for the Cyclones. The junior scored 242.33 in the 1-meter dive, earning her second place. Warrick said Nelson finished with more than 20 points over her personal best.

“She still has room to keep growing,” Warrick said.

Overall as a diving team, the Cyclones experienced what Warrick hoped they would. Warrick said swimming at that level and in that facility really helped his divers, but they still have work to do.

“We’ve got a lot of room to grow,” Warrick said. “They have to get out of their comfort zone and make changes.”

The Cyclones host Nebraska-Omaha on Saturday. The meet begins at 1 p.m. and takes place at the Beyer Pool.