The Cyclones Prepare for Big 12 Championships
AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State swimming and diving team (7-3-1, 2-1 Big 12) heads to Austin, Texas for the 2014 Big 12 Conference Swimming and Diving Championships. Iowa State head swimming coach Duane Sorenson and his team have had this date circled on their calendar since the beginning of spring training on March 25, 2013 at Beyer Hall.
“This is what we train for all year,” senior swimmer Hayley Krzeczowski said. “We try to pay more attention to the details. We focus a lot on relay starts and stuff you don’t want to compromise at Big 12s.”
The Cyclones have momentum on their side after finishing the 2013-14 regular season with four-consecutive dual meet victories – including wins over conference foes West Virginia and Kansas. This season marks the 12th time in the previous 15 seasons that an ISU swimming and diving team has entered the Big 12 Championships with a winning record, and this year’s seven wins matches a school record set during the 2001-02 campaign.
According to Sorenson, the last of the hard practices are over. Morning swims are over, yardages are reduced and the team is given more downtime throughout pool workouts.
“Our yardage is really cut back, and we are doing more quality swims.” Sorenson said. “This is the time that swimmers live for – we call it taper.”
With months of preparation leading up to one week, all remaining practice time is focused on one thing: details. Junior middle-distance specialist Sarah Deis said there is still a lot of work to be done in the days left before competition opens in Austin.
“Basically we are working on short, fast stuff, starts and turns and all the little things,” Deis said. “Everything we do has a purpose.”
During the 2013 Big 12 Conference Championships, two Cyclone swimmers tackled school records. Then sophomore Bre Loeschke knocked out the Iowa State school record in the 200 backstroke during prelims with a time of 1:56.82. Early that week, with a time of 1:01.35, Imelda Wistey notched an NCAA “B” cut time and a school record in the 100 breaststroke.
The Cyclones are once again knocking on history’s door with a number of swimmers within seconds of school records.
Sr. Imelda Wistey etched her name in stone this season as the top breaststroker in Iowa State school history after taking down her own record in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:00.46 and breaking the school record in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:13.79.
Fr. Karyl Clarete set the school record in the 500 freestyle in her rookie campaign with a time of 4:52.17. The freshman standout is now 0.65-seconds behind Lauren Breunig’s 200 freestyle time of 1:47.73 and currently sits fifth all-time in the 1000 freestyle.
Jr. Amanda Paulson currently holds the school record in the 50 freestyle with a time of 0:22.78. She is just 0.96-seconds off Lauren Breunig’s record pace in the 100 freestyle (0:49.79).
So. Elyse Brouillette aims to take down Tien Tran’s record performance on the 3-meter board of 338.55 – she is currently 9.07-point behind the pace. The 2012-13 ISU most valuable diver is also closing in on Janet Lahti’s 28-year-old school record on the 1-meter board (309.30) with a personal best of 295.58.
Sr. Jessica Henderson currently sits 16.28-points behind Lahti’s record on the 1-meter board.
So. Marissa Engel sits fifth all-time in school history in the 200 backstroke, chasing current teammate Bre Loeschke’s record time of 1:56.82.
Jr. Kristy Kunkel moved into eight-place in the record books after a personal-best time of 2:04.23 in the 200 butterfly. She sits 3.28-seconds behind Amber McDowell’s record performance during the 2001-02 season.