AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State divers begin a three-day competition on Friday, Dec. 6 as they travel to Iowa City, Iowa for the Iowa Invitational. In addition to the Hawkeyes, ISU will be competing against divers from Boise State, Denver, Milwaukee, Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Washington State.
With five dual meets on the season, this weekend’s action marks the first invitational for the Cyclone divers. The squad has been altering their practice routines to include longer workouts and more repetition to prepare for the event, according to team veterans Jessica Henderson and Elyse Brouillette.
Henderson, who has been hampered early in the season due to a quadriceps injury, feels that she is back to 100-percent and says she is ready to compete.
“I have been limited at the beginning of the year in practices, but I feel like I’m doing well,” Henderson said. “I don’t have any reason not to do well. I just want to make it to finals and get some points for Iowa State.”
While her senior teammate looks to be a force on the board this weekend, Brouillette has set the bar high for herself, as well. During the TCU dual meet at home, Brouillette set a personal best on the 3-meter board with a score of 329.4, just 9.07 points behind the Iowa State school record held by six-time All-Big 12 honoree Tien Tran.
While the returning Iowa State most valuable diver has proven her ability in the diving well, Brouillette claims she still has to fight off some nerves when she climbs the ladder.
“I am a little nervous because I have never had a board quite that successful,” Brouillette said. “It is a little bit a battle because there are always those self-doubts in the back of your mind, but I think that I am ready for it. I have found a routine at meets, I’ve found what works for me, and I think that it will be a good meet.”
The Iowa Invitational will be the first time the Iowa State divers have competed in nearly a month, including a holiday break. While the long layoff has the potential to set the Cyclones back, Henderson claims that time away from the pool might prove beneficial.
“The break can either be an advantage or a disadvantage; it just depends on how you look at it,” Henderson said. “When people come back from a break, they can actually dive better.”
Freshman divers Rebecca Stochl and Julie Dickinson will have the opportunity to compete in a collegiate level invitational style meet for the first time in their careers. While it will be an eye opening experience for them, according to Brouillette, she feels that the Cyclone newcomers are ready for this weekend’s competition.
The doors of the University Aquatic Center of Iowa City open at 7:00 p.m. on Friday morning, and final competition for the evening begins at 6:00 p.m. Prelims and finals for the women’s 1-meter event will be held on Friday.