Cyclones to race Jackrabbits in first meet of new year


Photo: Jordan Maurice/Iowa State

Coach Duane Sorenson looks on during the 400 free finals Saturday, Feb. 4, at Beyer Hall. The ISU swimming and diving team hosted Kansas for its last home meet of the season. The team honored the five seniors on the squad before the beginning of the meet.

Megan Teske

While the Iowa State students were at home, taking their much needed winter break, the Iowa State swim and dive team was still training.

The Cyclones had a week off for break right after finals before it was time for them to get back in the pool and into the swing of things.

Iowa State currently sits at .500 on the season, and after a two meet losing streak and a short winter break, they will hope to change that this Friday. 

The Cyclones are set to face off against South Dakota State on Friday evening in their last meet before they begin conference play, two weeks after returning from their winter training trip down in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“[The trip went] really good,” said coach Duane Sorenson. “I thought the team worked hard and we got what we wanted out of it. It was a very intense week of training and working out, but they were able to focus everything in every practice. We got a lot accomplished down there.”

Sorenson said there are many differences to training down in Florida and training back in Ames, and that there is a reason they go every year.

“You’re outside, and you have the opportunity to train in a 50 meter pool which is twice as long,” Sorenson said. “Having fresh air you just feel better, it’s kind of been the tradition for swim teams to go someplace warm.”

Now that the Cyclones have returned back to the cold here in Ames, it’s time for them to take on the Jackrabbits Friday, who Sorenson has said they have never lost to.

“They have some very good individual swimmers,” Sorenson said. “They have a good 200 and 500 freestyler, three really good 50 freestylers, and two very good 100 breast strokers.” 

There is also a connection between the coaches of the two teams, as the coach for the Jackrabbits had swam for assistant head coach Kelly Nordell when she coached at Nebraska.

“Their coach Doug Humphrey I’ve known him since he swam at Nebraska,” Sorenson said. “He was assistant coach at Nebraska, head coach at Northern Iowa, and now he’s the head coach at South Dakota State, so it’s a good competition.”

When Iowa State kicks off Big 12 meets next week, they will travel to West Virginia for that, so Sorenson said they will not be able to bring the whole team to that, so the lineups for the South Dakota meet will be a bit different.

“Nine swimmers and divers will not be flying with us,” Sorenson said. “We’ll have those swimmers swim their main events and try to get times and scores in diving to have their standout performance.”

As the second half of this season picks up and starts to get going, Sorenson said they are starting to fine tune the practices and swims and get the details down more. 

“We’re transitioning more into speed work and carrying our speed through the turns,” Sorenson said. “We’re more focused on quality work than quantity work. The focus needs to become more intense everyday, you have to have we call it purposeful practice everyday, you can’t just go through the motions.”

The Cyclones will kick off their first meet of the new year against South Dakota State at 5 p.m. Friday at Beyer Pool.