Cyclones Prepare for Nebraska-Omaha
AMES, Iowa – On Friday, the Cyclones will travel to Omaha, Neb. to take on the Mavericks of the University of Nebraska of Omaha (2-5, 0-1 Summit). Iowa State opens competition against Nebraska-Omaha at 6:00 p.m.
The Iowa State swimming and diving team (2-0-1, 0-0 Big 12) has remained undefeated through three dual meet matchups this year, the best start for any Iowa State team since the 2006-07 season. The Cyclones credit their fast start in the 2013-14 season to a strong finish during last year’s campaign.
“We finished the year very strong last year at the Big 12 Championships,” head coach Duane Sorenson said. “The team talked last spring of starting where we left off.”
Team chemistry has also been a source of success for the Cyclones throughout the season. According to senior caption Emily Wiltsie, individual leaders from each class have helped the entire team mesh. Junior and middle distance specialist Kristy Kunkel attributes the Cyclones’ success to the solid leadership of the senior class and their positivity that the rest of the team thrives on.
“The chemistry on the team is really good this year compared to past years,” Kunkel said “We all just get along really well and we all push each other in practice.”
Heading into this Friday’s meet, the Cyclones hold the all-time series lead over the Mavericks, 11-0. In meets against their previous two Summit League opponents, Iowa State has used a different format of events and plans to do the same against Nebraska-Omaha.
The UNO dual will be a sprint order meet consisting of a 100-yard event in every stroke, 50-yard freestyle, and a 200-yard IM. Swimmers from both teams will be allowed to enter every event with only three designated swimmers accounting for the score, giving the swimmers an opportunity to compete in different events.
“It might be a fun meet for many of our women,” Sorenson said. “This may be the one and only time in their college career that they will swim in this race.”
Two other Cyclones, however, will be enjoying the meet for another reason as Kunkel and sophomore diver Elyse Brouillette are Omaha, Neb. natives. While she said that it’s no different than any other meet, Kunkel did admit that she gets a little bit of an edge from swimming in front of her family and competing against hometown friends.
“I swam at that pool all through high school,” Kunkel said. “So it’s nice to get back into a pool that I’m really comfortable with.”
One week following the Nebraska-Omaha dual, the Cyclones open Big 12 competition at home against the Horned Frogs of TCU. With only one meet left on the schedule until Big 12 play begins, Iowa State will be focused on improving their times and keeping a competitive mindset throughout the UNO dual.
“I think that Omaha will really help with us getting into that mode to race TCU,” Wiltsie said.