Cyclones to begin Big 12 competition


A member of the Iowa State Swimming and Diving team competes against West Virginia University on Jan. 26 in the 1000 Freestyle.

Megan Teske

With already half the season over, the Iowa State swimming and diving team will begin Big 12 play this weekend.

The Cyclones will face off against West Virginia at 10 a.m. Saturday in Morgantown, West Virginia, after their meet against South Dakota State at home was cancelled last weekend.

Since Head Coach Duane Sorenson said not all athletes will be traveling for the West Virginia meet, he said they did a time trial meet last Friday with the same lineup that they would have had at the South Dakota State meet.

“I was very pleased with how they raced,” Sorenson said. “We had over 30 season best times, which is fantastic.”

Sorenson said the team left early Friday morning for West Virginia to prepare for the meet on Saturday and get a look at West Virginia’s new aquatic facility.

This will be the Cyclone’s seventh meeting with the Mountaineers, and they are currently on top with a record of 5-1, although Sorenson said the competition between the two schools is always intense.

“It always seems to go down to the last relay, Sorenson said. “It’s happened that way the last four or five years… our teams really match up well against each other.”

The last meeting with the Mountaineers was in Ames, where the Cyclones won 152-148. Just like Sorenson said, the last relay of the meet was the deciding factor of the dual.

As the Big 12 Championships start to get closer, Sorenson said they are starting to work and focus more on speed in practices, and it was no different for this meet either. 

Sorenson said through this next month the swimmers will continue to work on carrying their speed into the walls, doing stroke and kick counts — which is counting the number of kicks a swimmer does underwater that is optimal for them — and fine tuning races.

The divers also competed Friday in lieu of the South Dakota State meet.

Sorenson said West Virginia has had good divers historically, especially when they are diving at home, but that the divers looked good on Friday.

“Jeff [Warrick] is real pleased with how they dove, on 3 meter especially,” Sorenson said. “Hopefully they can just be relaxed, have fun and dive to their potential and it’ll be a close competition.”

Sorenson said that with this being the first Big 12 meet, it will help the athletes get into the Big 12 mindset and focus, so that they know how they are compared with the rest of the women and will know what to work on after the meet as well, he also hopes that it will bring more confidence in the Championships too. 

“If they do beat one of them then they might have a little bit more confidence and say ‘hey I just beat her a couple weeks ago I can beat her again here.”