Swimming team’s season set to begin Friday


Jack MacDonald/Iowa State Daily

The ISU Swim and Dive team took on West Virginia in a Big 12 Conference battle on Saturday, January 21, 2017, at Beyer Pool. The Cyclones won the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay to secure the win. 

Yao Liu

The Iowa State swim team is waiting for the new season and head coach Duane Sorenson is set to begin his 21st year with the swimming team. The season will begin Friday at 7 p.m. with the Cardinal and Gold Scrimmage.

Last season, Sorenson led the team to third place in the Big 12 Championship.

This year, seven new freshmen plus three transfers join the team.

One of the most promising newcomers could be Anna Andersen, a transfer from North Dakota, had won the WAC championships in the 200-meter and 400-meter freestyle relays.

Andersen will focus on the sprint freestyle and can be one of the team’s top 100-meter freestylers.

“We have practiced 20 hours a week,” Andersen said. “On Monday to Friday, morning and night, I mainly come to practice Sprint power work and look many ways for the competition.”

Andersen is confident for her first swim as Cyclone.

In middle distance, newcomer Kennedy Tranel wants to have a breakout season for the Cyclones. She is coming in as a high school All-American and a three-time All-Stater.

Bryn Ericksen, Lehr Thorson and Martha Haas had wonderful performances in the breaststroke at the high school level.

All of them will enter their first races as Cyclones.

There are seven former All-Big 12 honorees returning to the team. Keely Soellner and Haley Ruegemer lead a tremendous distance free group and want to make more improvement.

Laura Miksch returned as a school record holder in the 50-meter freestyle. In her junior season, she became the Cyclones’ top sprinter on the year and was named to the Academic All-Big 12 First-Team.

This is her senior year. Miksch still plays an important role in the swimming team.

“I just want to make sure that I can continue having fun in the competition,” Miksch said. “We have a new group of people and it’s their first time to the meets. I am showing them the way we do things in practice and hopefully I can help them get a bang out of everything.”

Certainly, mindset is emphasized several times.

“In the beginning of the season,” Sorenson said. “We are working a lot of for technique work, more strategy like how to breathe properly and how to finish races quickly. Also, we get a little more racing mindset.”

Although the Big 12 swim and dive competition is fierce and the Big 12’s powerhouse team, Texas, is much more competitive than other teams, Sorenson does not want to produce unnecessary pressure for his swimmers.

“The major goal this year is placing as high as we can for the team in Big 12 Championship and to get many swimmers as we can to the NCAA,” Sorenson said.

After every dual meet, Sorenson wants to get more ideas about the weakness for every swimmer and adjust their mindset. He thinks the meet is a learning opportunity to help them get better.