AMES, Iowa, March 14. IN less than a week, several athletes will compete at the NCAA women’s Division I swimming and diving championships for the first time. We have featured some of them in our daily Q&A series on SwimmingWorld.com, and continue the series today with a breaststroker looking to end her college career with a smile on her face.
Name: Imelda Wistey
Year, school: Senior, Iowa State
Events she’ll swim: 100 and 200 breaststroke
Swimming World: Congratulations on qualifying for the NCAA championships! How does it feel to finally get an invite to the meet in your senior year?
Imelda Wistey: Thank you! I feel relieved that I finally got in. After all my hard work and commitment to the sport, I am excited for the opportunity to finish off my college career by racing with the best in the nation.
SW: The time you swam in the 100 breast to qualify for the NCAAs – 1:00.46 – was done in December. What were you thinking in terms of whether or not that time would get you to the meet?
Wistey: I didn’t even think of the NCAA’s until Duane (Sorenson), my coach, mentioned that the 1:00.46 could possibly get me invited. After that, I was determined to continue with my disciplined training to perform my best at the end of the season which I envisioned to be the NCAA’s.
SW: Knowing this was your final season and final chance to get to the NCAAs, what did you do differently in terms of training that helped you drop almost a second in your lifetime best?
Wistey: After my junior year, my coach told me that I didn’t have to train any harder, only smarter. So during the summer, I took a step back and reviewed how I could improve my approach to training both physically and mentally. Physically, I worked on my stroke technique and mentally on the belief in myself.
SW: What’s the goal for NCAAs in the 100?
Wistey: I love swimming the breaststroke. My goal is to enjoy the experience and race with all my heart.
SW: You also get to swim the 200 breast in Minneapolis. How does your approach to the 100 and 200 breast differ?
Wistey: Mentally, I approach both races the same. However, they both require a different race strategy. In the 100, I think in terms of 25s and the 200 I think in terms of 50s.
SW: You’re the first Iowa State swimmer to go to the NCAAs in four years. How has the rest of the team supported you as you prepare for the big meet?
Wistey: They are all really supportive and excited because one of the team goals for the year was to have NCAA representation. Some are even planning to watch me race at the NCAAs during their spring vacation.
SW: Any plans to continue competing after the NCAAs?
Wistey: Yes. I know I have more time drops in me and I want to realize my potential. So I plan to continue training and competing at the higher levels for the next couple years in preparation for the Olympic Trials.