Progress report

Aaron Mccann

The ISU swimming and diving team will face two top-25 teams and other tough competition this weekend in the three-day Minnesota Invitational in Minneapolis.

The Cyclones will be going against No. 10 Wisconsin and No. 25 Minnesota. Also in the meet will be Nebraska, Iowa, Miami-Ohio, Florida Atlantic and St. Olaf.

While it has been more than two weeks since the Cyclones last competed, there is no lack of effort during practices, head swimming coach Duane Sorenson said.

“Swimming is a training sport,” Sorenson said. “We use competitions as a gauge to let us know where we are and where we need to be in our training.”

In this event last year, Iowa State placed sixth with a total of 294.5 points. The top five teams were Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Iowa.

If the Cyclones hope to move up a few spaces this year, they will need another strong performance by senior Petra Plaminkova.

In last year’s invitational, Plaminkova was Iowa State’s top performer, placing second in both the 400-yard individual medley and the 200-yard breaststroke.

“I feel that Petra is one of our top swimmers,” Sorenson said. “She is swimming very well and is having a great year.”

Also in last year’s invitational, Plaminkova finished sixth in the 500-yard freestyle and anchored Iowa State’s sixth-place finish in the 800-yard freestyle relay.

The ISU divers aim to improve after a good performance in their last meet on Nov. 1.

The Cyclones took the top three places in the 1-meter competition and two of the top three in the 3-meter.

“This is going to be a dry run of the Big 12 Championships for us,” diving coach Jeff Warrick said. “The way it is set up is just like it is for the Big 12 and will let us know where we are in terms of preparation.”

The competition begins Friday with preliminaries at noon, diving at 1 p.m. and finals at 6 p.m.

The format will be the same on Saturday, but on Sunday, preliminaries will begin at 10:30 a.m. and finals will be at 3 p.m.

The diving finals are set for noon on Sunday.

“The time in between meets has really let us focus a lot of time on this Invitational,” Warrick said. “We have been able to simulate meets and are able to fix the little things.”

After the Minnesota Invitational, Iowa State will host Iowa Dec. 6 at 1 p.m.