Swimming, diving prepare Cyclones for long haul

Nate Ryan

The members of the Cyclone swimming and diving team were on their third day of class like the rest of the student body Aug. 25.

However, it was also the first day of going through intense training for the upcoming swimming season. The ISU swimming and diving coaches feel the training for the upcoming season is on track, with the intrasquad meet Friday at Beyer Hall.

“It’s been going really well,” said coach Duane Sorenson. “It’s kind of like a boot camp where we really get them physically fit.”

Sorenson said the team is a little tired and broken down right now with the intensity of the training that goes on every day. Since Labor Day, the team has been training about 20 hours a week.

“The team has done a really good job of being focused and working really hard,” said diving coach Jeff Warrick.

The Cyclone swimming team is coming into the 2010-2011 season after one of their best seasons in school history. The team won eight dual meets last year.

Following such a successful season there are high expectations for this one.

“I’m always shooting for the divers to place in the top-three as a diving team in the Big 12,” Warrick said, “We’ve got a lot of experienced divers coming back.”

The diving team loses their team captain from 2009-10, Tien Tran. Warrick talked to his divers about stepping things up for this season.

“If we all raise our level up a little bit we can, not only make up for that, but maybe surpass what we did last year,” Warrick said.

Coach Sorenson said the team has lost five strong seniors from last year and this year the team is looking for who is going to step up next.

“We’ve got 11 seniors, and they have all talked about that it’s their time to shine,” Sorenson said.

The Cyclones are also looking to replace the senior sprinters from last year. Coach Sorenson mentioned 12 swimmers are currently in the running for those spots and, “they all know it.”

“They are that much more motivated and pushing each other daily at practice,” Sorenson said. “Being on relays at a Division I level is special.”

The team finished fifth in the Big 12 last year and is looking for at least the same result this season.

“Our goal is still to be in the top five and see how close we can get to a Kansas,” Sorenson said.

The Cyclones begin their regular season when they travel to the University of Minnesota for a meet Oct. 16 against the Golden Gophers.

Following the trip to Minnesota, the Cyclones then host four home meets. The team will host Nebraska-Omaha on Oct. 23, before welcoming South Dakota on Oct. 29. The Cyclones then turn right around and host South Dakota State and Western Illinois in a double dual meet Oct. 30.

After a smattering of road meets, the Cyclones will travel to Iowa City for the annual Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series dual meet with the Hawkeyes. The Cyclones beat Iowa last year 167-133.     

The Cyclone swimmers will then take their annual training trip to Phoenix, Ariz. Jan. 1 to 6, while the diving team travels to the Tennessee Diving Invitational in Knoxville, Tenn., Jan. 3 to 6. The training trip to Phoenix is described as “the most intense five or six days” the team has all season.

“We’ll train up to five hours a day,” Sorenson said, “It’s very intense training.”

He added that the team is able to just focus on swimming.

“We call it eat, sleep, and swim,” Sorenson said.

The season wraps up with the Big 12 Championships Feb. 23-26 in Austin, Texas. Austin is also the host for the following NCAA Zone ‘D’ Diving Championships on March 11-13 as well as the NCAA Championships March 17-19.

The Cyclones hosted an alumni meet Oct. 1. The annual intrasquad meet is at 6 p.m. Friday. Admission is free.