Swimming and diving prepare for busy weekend


Photo: Manfred Brugger/Iowa State Daily

ISU’s Tiana Wollin competes in the 100-yard freestyle event on Saturday, Oct. 23. The Cyclones beat Nebraska-Omaha 101-64.

Nate Ryan

The ISU swimming and diving teams are getting set to take on a big challenge both mentally and physically. The Cyclones host two meets this weekend, as Friday brings South Dakota to Ames, while Saturday presents a double-dual meet with South Dakota State and Western Illinois.

“You have to swim strong Friday night and then turn around and swim strong again on Saturday morning,” said coach Duane Sorenson. 

The teams are using this weekend’s set-up to prepare them for their bigger events of the year like the Northwestern Invitational and the Big 12 Championships.  

Swimmers and divers share a common challenge when it comes to this weekend’s meets.

“I think it is a challenge mentally for both,” said diving coach Jeff Warrick. “We’re looking to do back-to-back [practices] to get them ready for conference when they’ll have to do back-to-back days.”

The swimmers will get plenty of practice in how to race, warm down properly, get a good meal, and rest. Then it will be time to wake up and get a good breakfast, warm up and swim strong again.

“We learn a lot about each individual,” Sorenson said. “It’s a great learning experience.” 

Coming back on Saturday may be a challenge, but the swimmers can’t look for excuses.

“You just can’t say ‘I’m tired,'” Sorenson said. “You have to pick it up and get after it.”

While preparing for the busy weekend the Cyclones still have other improvements to work on from their last meet.

“We’re trying to improve our turns a little bit and technique,” Sorenson said. “Those minor details that need cleaning up.”  

On top of everything else the Cyclone swimmers are being affected by the weather like everyone else. Sorenson said the team has had a bug going around and a few swimmers have missed some practice with illness. 

Fans should be aware that Saturday’s meet will be a different layout. The meet will be a 13-event meet with the women’s teams competing in the 100s of each event, as well as the 200 medley relay, 200 IM, and the 400 freestyle relay.

South Dakota State and Western Illinois will also be bringing their men’s teams to compete against each other.  

“There will be multiple meets going on at the same time,” Sorenson said.

Overall for the challenge on the diving side is to not slow down. The diving team now has four members qualified for the NCAA Zone meet in March, but Warrick doesn’t want them to think about it too much. 

“We can’t let that stop us in our tracks,” Warrick said. “Sure, that was a great accomplishment, but we’ve got more work to do and we’ve got to keep getting better.”

The diving team seems to have at least one diver step up every week. Last weekend Jenn Botsch continued her success while teammate Lauren Naeve elevated her performance and qualified for NCAA Zones.  

The team will be looking for all divers to step up, but are expecting redshirt freshman Jessica Nicholson to break through soon.  As a redshirt, Nicholson practiced all last year to get to where she is, but didn’t get that competition experience until now.  

“She’s really doing well,” Warrick said. “She’s just got to pull it together in the meets and when she does, I think it’s going to be really exciting.”

Friday’s dual meet with South Dakota begins at 6 p.m.

Saturday the Cyclones host South Dakota State and Western Illinois at 1 p.m. Both meets take place at Beyer Pool and admission is free.