The Iowa State swimming and diving team has been preparing for two weeks for a double-header Friday and Saturday.
Double-headers are tough for any team, and head coach Duane Sorenson said there are a few things the athletes must do to be ready for meet number two on Saturday morning.
"You need to do a good recovery," Sorenson said. "Get a good meal in, get to bed, get your rest and then get prepared again the next morning through a good stretch and good warmup."
Iowa State won't be at such a disadvantage on Saturday coming off of a night meet the day before against South Dakota, Sorenson said, because Rutgers will have a meet the night before as well.
"Both teams are going to be a little tired the second day," Sorenson said. "You still have to compete at the high level, you got to be on top of your fourth quarter as much as the first quarter."
Being prepared for a double header isn't just about the physicality of it, but also how mentally prepared an athlete is as well.
"It's a good way to test people's endurance and their ability to compete," said senior swimmer Anna Andersen. "It's definitely mentally challenging and physically challenging, but we've got some pretty tough girls on our team."
Andersen said back-to-back meets are both harder and easier than a usual one-meet weekend is.
"If we had a Friday night meet we'd have a tough Saturday morning practice, so it kind of simulates that," Andersen said. "[Harder] because you're thinking about how you have to get up and race and people are always kind of nervous for meets and the quick turnaround from the meet on Friday night."
As a senior, Andersen has the chance to give pointers and help the younger swimmers prepare for these two meets. She said that she doesn't really intervene until she sees them doing something they shouldn't be doing.
"I kind of let them do their own thing, and they have figured a lot of it out on their own," Andersen said. "Just making sure they're on the right track and let them figure it out for themselves until there's a spot where I'm like 'OK, this is something you need to know and need to follow.'"
Coach Sorenson said he thinks both meets will be competitive, and both teams have some great swimmers.
"South Dakota has a very nice squad, they've got some really good backstrokers and 50 and 100 freestylers," Sorenson said. "Rutgers has some outstanding swimmers — we have to be on our best events, best swims, on top of things. I'm really looking forward to a great competition against them."
Iowa State plays South Dakota almost every year, and Sorenson said the Cyclones usually win. As for Rutgers, the Cyclones haven't played them in about seven years, and Sorenson said it was during a training trip like a quasi-meet training session.
"We're pretty comparable with each other," Sorenson said. "It's a chance for [Rutgers] to get another good competition in."
Both meets will be at the Beyer Pool. Iowa State will face off against South Dakota at 5 p.m. Friday and against Rutgers at 10 a.m. Saturday.