Hayley Krzeczowski admits that her freshman season at Iowa State University didn’t go as well as she had hoped. However, a grueling summer in the pool and the weightroom has the former St. Charles East standout ready to handle the rigors of college swimming as a sophomore.
That’s exactly what Cyclones coach Duane Sorenson expects.
After earning all-conference honors all four years and helping two Saints relays reach the 2009 state finals as a senior – the 200 medley relay (12th place) and the 400 freestyle relay (11th) – Krzeczowski arrived in Ames, Iowa last fall wanting to contribute right away.
But that didn’t happen as often as she would have liked. Highlights for Krzeczowski included a tie for fourth in the 50 freestyle (:25.95) in a triangular meet against South Dakota State and Western Illinois and a fourth-place finish with the 200 medley team versus South Dakota, Northern Iowa and Nebraska.
Krzeczowski also competed in the Big 12 Championships at the University of Texas in February, swimming exhibition in the 50 and 100 freestyle, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle relay, 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay.
“I was happy and it was a good learning season for me, but I didn’t do as well as I wanted,” she said. “I just need to keep my focus and train hard. I want to get faster and stronger and help contribute swimming.”
Sorenson sees that happening far more often this season in the freestyle and butterfly.
“We feel that a lot of time for incoming freshmen it’s quite a transition year,” he said. “The season is so long. But Hayley’s really gotten a lot stronger since last year and we’re looking for her to have a breakthrough season.”
Krzeczowski is committed to making that a reality, pushing herself through a rigorous training program over the last three months with her teammates. Other than coming home for a week in early May plus a recent two-week trip back to the Tri-Cities – she found some time to relax during this visit to watch some of her East swimming videos – Krzeczowski spent all summer lifting and swimming on campus.
“It definitely wasn’t the summer I was used to, but I really just wanted to focus on swimming,” she said. “If I went home, I might lose my focus.”
One meet Krzeczowski is targeting this season – as is every other member of the Iowa State squad – is Dec. 9 when rival Iowa comes to town. She nearly became a Hawkeye like her brother Jake, who is now a senior, but she felt a better connection with Sorenson and assistant head coach Kelly Nordell and the academics at Iowa State.
“The Iowa meet is so much fun,” said Krzeczowski, who competed in the 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay in the Cyclones’ 173-108 loss in Iowa City last Dec. 10. “I was part of a rivalry with St. Charles East and North, but this takes it to a new level.
“You’re definitely motivated when you see a Hawkeye in the blocks,” she added. “There’s no one you want to beat more.”
Krzeczowski is ready to make that happen.
• Matt Beardmore writes a weekly On Campus column about area athletes competing in college. If you would like to submit a column idea, contact him at email@example.com.