The Iowa State (7-3, 2-0 Big 12) swimming and diving team will be going up against the rival Kansas Jayhawks (6-1, 0-0 Big 12) this weekend in a battle for Big 12 superiority.
“Kansas is always a good rivalry for us because they push our swimmers to perform better while still being a competitive matchup,” said head coach Duane Sorenson.
Kansas and Iowa State met earlier this season (Nov. 16-18) at the Kansas Classic in Topeka, Kansas, where the Jayhawks were able take first place with a score of 1279.5 points and the Cyclones sealed second with a total of 642.5.
Although the scores indicate that Kansas dominated, Iowa State was unable to use its depth to its scoring advantage in the meet. There were four other teams there to snatch the point totals that would otherwise go to the second or third swimmers in an event.
When the two teams meet up this time, it will be in a dual meet style, with the Cyclones having a much higher probability of scoring in every event.
“I think our team is in a great place right now. Each member has a good grasp of what their role is in terms of our team goals and what they need to do to help our team win,” said senior swimmer Haley Ruegemer.
That camaraderie has led to four straight Cyclone victories after winter break, including an exciting final event win in the 400 freestyle relay to secure a win over West Virginia last week (152-148).
Nonetheless, Kansas defeated Iowa State last year by a score of 178.5 to 121.5 and they have had an impressive season thus far.
Furthermore, they were on a six-meet winning streak before losing to the Arkansas Razorbacks Saturday. The Razorbacks were receiving votes in the latest CSCAA rankings (26th with 6 voting points).
The win streak that the Jayhawks rattled off included a close win over Nebraska (152-146), whom the Cyclones lost to earlier this season by a score of 115-184.
Yet, all that doesn’t seem to faze the Cyclones.
“I think we’re in the perfect spot for where we wanted to be at this season,” said redshirt senior diver Sydney Ronald.
The result of this meet will be a good indicator of where the Cyclones are at and where they need to get to for the Big 12 Championships.
With the current number one ranked team in the nation, Texas, leading the Big 12, second place would be an attainable goal for the Cyclones at the Big 12 Championships.
But first, the Cyclones will have to take care of the Jayhawks.
“We can only control what we can and that’s ourselves in our lane,” Sorenson said.
The first half of the meet will take place starting 6 p.m. Friday in Lawrence, Kansas, while the second portion will commence at 10 a.m. Saturday.