Iowa State prepares for in-state rivalry against UNI


Iowa State junior Danica Delaquis swims the 200-yard breaststroke during the meet against West Virginia Jan. 21 at Beyer Hall. Delaquis finished sixth with a time of 2:22.79. The Cyclones defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers 153-147. 

Rachel Given

Halfway through a rough four-meet, four-weekend schedule, the Iowa State swim and dive team has to keep their energy levels in check for the last home meet of the season against state-rival UNI.

The Panthers have not lost a home meet yet this season, but as dive coach Jeff Warrick said, “this is our meet.”

This marks the last home meet for the Cyclones for the 2016-17 season before the team.  Iowa State’s win streak against UNI goes as far back as head swim coach Duane Sorenson’s coaching tenure for the Cyclones and while he wasn’t surprised by the Panthers’ performance last year, junior Danica Delaquis said the team was surprised.

“They were ready to race us,” Delaquis said. “We can’t go in and take it easy, we have to fight for that win as well.”

The fight she’s talking about was the West Virginia meet last weekend that came down to the very last relay.

But with two big meets down, the light at the end of the tunnel is still a long way away. Head swim coach Duane Sorenson said the Panthers have “improved leaps and bounds over the last couple years.”

Sorenson said it’s “fun” to watch their improvement because ISU’s assistant swim coach Kelly Nordell coached UNI’s coach Doug Humphrey, when he was a swimmer at Nebraska.

A meet against a non-conference team is usually looked at lightly, but not UNI and not against the Cyclones.

“Other sports call it the trap game,” head swim coach Duane Sorenson said. “It’s kind of in between two important Big 12 contests. We just have to be ready and prepared.”

While there isn’t a reason why the two teams compete against each other so late in the season besides scheduling, facing off against friendly competition has its perks.

Sorenson said it’ll be “fun” for the swimmers because they know a lot of their competition and since UNI isn’t in the same conference as Iowa State, it allows for the swimmers to be placed into different races.

“We can put some of our women in their events for the Big 12 championships that they don’t get to swim very often,” Sorenson said. “We can mix our line up around a little bit because [UNI doesn’t] have the depth we have.

Due to injuries on the Cyclone squad won’t see a major change in their line-up from last weekend to this weekend.  Warrick added a mid-season transfer diver to his roster and hopes if the NCAA approves of her waiver, he hopes he can add Alex Aaberg into the lineup.

The Cyclones will honor their seniors and UNI’s seniors 15 minutes before the meet starts. First splash is scheduled at 1 p.m. in Beyer Hall.