AMES, Iowa, February 3. BIG nights from both the swimmers and the divers have put Iowa State ahead of Kansas 82-68 on the first day of the two schools' two-day dual meet. The Cyclones (4-3 overall, 0-0 Big 12) won five of the eight events on the evening over the Jayhawks (5-4, 0-1 Big 12).
"I am proud with how our women raced," Iowa State head coach Duane Sorenson said. "The 200 medley relay helped set the tone. We came back strong after the 800 and 150 free. Our women raced and competed like we wanted them to."
After the team of Dani Harris, Imelda Wistey, Sarah Norris and Amanda Paulson posted a victory in the 200 medley relay, Iowa State had a hole to dig out of after being swept out of the top-three slots in the 800 free and the 150 free. Down 36-19 after three events, the Cyclones surged back with a sweep in the 50 back courtesy of Norris (26.77), Bre Loeschke (27.49) and Harris (27.52).
"We have great 50 backstrokers who will be great in the 100 back in a couple of weeks," Sorenson noted. "We had talked about that this event would be our strength; all three stepped up and took control of the event."
Iowa State got the lead back when Wistey and Ali Stearns took the top two spots in the 50 breaststroke in 30.10 and 30.54, respectively.
"Ali is a fierce competitor," Sorenson observed. "We have been working on keeping her stroke together and she almost tries too hard sometimes. She kept her technique and really finished strong."
After getting swept out of the top-three in the 150 fly, Iowa State closed the evening strong with a one-two finish in the 100 IM courtosey of Wistey (59.07) and Sarah Deis (59.14).
Coming off a career-high on 1-meter last weekend of 288.30, Sarah Nelson almost repeated the performance, taking the 1-meter title with 288.29. Nelson also topped the charts in the preliminary session, posting a 271.43.
"She really dove phenomenal," diving coach Jeff Warrick said. "I was happy with how she came out competed in the prelims and then returned in finals better; that is what we wanted to see."
Jessica Henderson took third in the finals with 264.59, just off her prelim standing of 268.43. However, Warrick was pleased to see the sophomore had not deviated too far in her performance.
"Jessica started out really well," Warrick noted. "She was only a couple of points off her prelim score but she was solid and consistent and that was a big word that we have been using. We are trying to improve on that and it was a good showing."
Jenn Botsch continues to improve each week as the senior saw her scores go up again this week, finishing fourth with 243.60.
"Last week she was in the high-230s and this week she was in the 240s," Warrick said. "She is headed in the right direction. It was a great meet for her too."
Iowa State and Kansas wrap up their dual meet tomorrow. 3-meter diving prelims begin at 9 a.m. CST. At 9:50 a.m., a special ceremony will be held honoring the Cyclone seniors with the second day of competition beginning after that.
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