Cyclones enter final dive

Iowa State freshman Maggie James performs a dive. The Iowa State swim team hosted the annual Cy-Hawk swim meet at Beyer Hall Fri. night. The Hawkeyes would go on to win every event, contributing to the team’s 190-93 win. 

Rachel Given

Although the ISU swim and dive season has come to a close, the divers still have a major competition to finish off their record-breaking season: NCAA Zone Diving Championships.

The team has prepared for zones all season and will send four divers to the competition in College Station, Texas. 

Dive coach Jeff Warrick has noticed a pattern in his divers over the years; the team does well at the Big 12 Championship but falls or “doesn’t show up” in the zones meet.

The Big 12 Championship saw three ISU divers qualify for finals on the platform and set their personal-best scores.

“I think they’re at that point to where they cannot only do as well, but they could do better than what they did at Big 12’s,” Warrick said.

Even though Warrick believes the team can do better, he still thinks zones is going to be a tough meet with some good competition. He also believes not having the swim team at the competition has a big effect on the divers.

“It’s them and me, so it’s much smaller,” Warrick said. “The crowd is not as big, the excitement level, because of that, is different and down. It has a much more serious feel to it.”

Although this is a dive-only meet, the team is trying to keep its head in the same mindset as past meets this season.

“You’re doing the same dives, you’re trying to be in the same mindset you have all season, which is just like focusing on dive to dive,” said freshman Maggie James. “If you mess up, then you mess up and move on.”

Junior Becky Stochl hopes to improve her record-breaking performance at the Big 12 Championship.

“I was happy I made it into finals for platform, but I could’ve hit [my dives] better,” Stochl said. “I want to hit them better at zones. It was little things here and there that I thought I could’ve done better.”

More than 50 divers will compete at zones, making the wait time between dives at least 30 minutes apart. Senior Elyse Brouillette will take a reading book, lots of music or a coloring book to keep her nerves in check and help pass the time.

“Thinking about the dive a half an hour before you do it is very destructive sometimes because you think about all the stuff that goes wrong,” Brouillette said. “It’s more about managing my brain.”

James hasn’t experienced zones yet but has had similar big, dive-only meet experience from high school. James has similar tactics as Brouillette to keep her nerves in check.

“If you think about it too much, you’re just going to freak yourself out about it in the end and drive yourself crazy,” James said. “I just don’t like thinking about it too much because I feel like I’m just gonna fall apart.”

The meet spans over three days and allows for the top nine to move on to the NCAA Championship the next week. The first splash is scheduled for Monday.