Kasey Roberts battles through injury in win against West Virginia


Jack MacDonald/Iowa State Daily

Junior Kasey Roberts competes in the 100 Yard Butterfly during the Cyclones 153-147 win over West Virginia. 

Rachel Given

Junior Kasey Roberts had a stellar meet against West Virginia on Saturday.

First-place finishes bounced around between the two teams, but Roberts fell nothing short of first- and second-place finishes despite a weak shoulder and neck injury.

“She’s a trooper,” head swim coach Duane Sorenson said.

After the meet, Roberts immediately put a heat pad on her injuries.

“It’s … OK,” Roberts said about her shoulder with a pause and laugh.

The Cyclones won another close meet, 153-147, against the Mountaineers and stretched their streak to five wins against West Virginia, but it couldn’t have been done without some of Roberts’ performances.

Roberts said it’s always a good feeling touching the wall, but she had one thing on her mind when pulling through the water.

“For the team,” Roberts said. “When we’re racing, it’s all for the team. It’s a really big motivation.”

Roberts was put in the lineup for the first relay of the day, the 400-yard medley relay. Her team earned a second-place finish. Roberts’ shoulder started to feel the heat.

Shortly after, in the fifth event of the morning, the 100-yard breaststroke, Roberts easily took first by more than half a second. Her smile was bigger than ever when getting out of the water, but she wasn’t done yet.

Roberts was back a few races later for the 200-yard breast stroke and took second place. Her shoulder was hurting, but the adrenaline was too much to allow Roberts’ weakness to get the best of her.

“She went out there and swam her heart out,” Sorenson said. “The beginning didn’t look too good, but she always believes in herself, in her breast and free, that she could come back.” 

She did.

In the second to last race of the morning, the 200-yard individual medley, Roberts trailed behind West Virginia’s Morgan Bullock, but with each turn at the end of the pool, Roberts was gaining on her. The individual medley race ends with the breaststroke and freestyle, two of Roberts’ favorite strokes.

In the final two laps, Roberts came head to head with Bullock, and the crowd erupted in cheer. The Cyclones needed the first-place finish to tie up the meet if they wanted to win.

“There’s so much power in [the breaststroke], I’m confident in it,” Roberts said. “It was a really big help in getting ahead. I really wanted to even up with her.”

Roberts said she gave it her all, and touching the pad first was an awesome feeling.

“Everybody was yelling,” Roberts said. “It was a really good feeling.”