Swimming freshman stands out in breaststroke

The fresh Martha Hass practice in Beyer Hall.

Yao Liu

The most inspiring part of Iowa State’s swimming team this year is getting to watch more impressive performances from the freshmen.  

Martha Haas is one of the newcomers in swimming and diving during the 2017-18 season.

She is not an ordinary student-athlete for the swimming team as she comes in with tremendous credentials swimming the 100-yard breaststroke.

“I chose [Iowa State] because when I came here for my official races, I just felt really at home and comfortable,” Haas said.

The first competition

Haas comes from Minnetonka, Minnesota, and started her swimming life when she was seven years old.

The biggest difference between high school and college in swimming is the duration of the season. High school only has a three-month season, which leaves enough time for swimmers to rest and adjust.

“I really enjoyed my time in high school,” Haas said confidently. “But I was definitely ready to come here and ready for the change.”

Haas’s first meet was against Nebraska, who defeated Iowa State by a score of 193-102.

“I was very nervous, but also I was so excited, and focused on some small things, like my turns and strokes,” Haas said.

She got fourth in 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke in her first race, the best place among the Cyclones in breaststroke events.

“Martha is a great racer especially in the meet,” said head coach Duane Sorenson. “She always shows up.”

Fight for the Cyclones

As the season proceeds, Haas also gets better feelings in the pool.

When facing the Iowa Hawkeyes, she won the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:02.64, her personal best in the season.

This meet made Haas the eighth-best 100-yard breaststroke performer in school history and it is just her first season in Iowa State.

Despite her outstanding performance in the regular season, coach Sorenson still has higher expectations for her in the Big 12 Conference.

“We are trying to develop her 200-yard breaststroke race,” Sorenson said. “She is doing well, but I think there is a lot more potential.”

Breaststroke is one of the stronger events for Iowa State. The pair of seniors, Kasey Roberts and Danica Delaquis, who are good at breaststroke, will graduate this May.

Sorenson certainly wants more of the freshman to continue the success and to fight for the Cyclones.

Haas clearly knows what the expectation is for her. However, she seems not too overwhelmed by the future. 

“I am just hoping to perform as well as I can [in the Big 12 Championships],” Haas said.

Honored relay team

Every meet this season normally starts off with 200 medley relay event. Iowa State has a team made up of Roberts, Mary Kate Luddy, Laura Miksch and Haas.

Everyone on the relay team is a senior this season, except for Haas.

The honored relay team always helps Iowa State get advantages in the beginning of races.

Haas enjoys the cooperation with her senior sisters.

It is also her motivation to constantly keep going in swimming, that fighting together with teammates.  

“I like the sport [swimming] as a whole,” Haas said. “I like the people involved, the coach, the best relationships that I’ve had in life.”

Roberts, the school record holder in 200-yard breaststroke, is able to communicate with Haas more than others because of competency in same events.

“She is actually my little sister in the team,” Roberts said. “She is so powerful, so much fun to swim with, she has a very good future.”