AMES, Iowa, February 9. AFTER trailing Kansas by one point after Friday’s events, the Iowa State women’s swimming and diving team rebounded with wins in six of eight events yesterday morning to top the Jayhawks on Senior Day.
Iowa State Press Release
The Iowa State Cyclone swimming and diving team (7-3-1, 2-1 Big 12) stormed back to claim a win over conference rival Kansas (7-5, 0-2 Big 12) after starting the day with a 1-point deficit, 163.5-136.5.
Including first places finishes in the 1-meter and 50 freestyle events last night, the Cyclones touched the wall first in six-consecutive events to take their largest lead of the contest, 126.5-99.5, with four events left on the schedule.
“We had the opportunity to win the first four events of this morning’s session, and we took advantage of that opportunity,” Iowa State head swimming coach Duane Sorenson said. “All of the races were contested, but we got our hands to the wall first.”
Sorenson, now in his 17th season at the helm of the program, said that this year’s team is one of the most competitive in Iowa State history.
The top breaststroker in the Iowa State record books, Imelda Wistey, had a veteran performance on senior day by taking first in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:20.69 and a third place finish in the 200 IM with a time of 2:09.82.
“It’s such an emotional day, and (Wistey) just kept her composure and kept her stroke together,” Sorenson said of his senior leader. “She finished off like the true champion that she is.”
In the diving well, Iowa State sophomore Elyse Brouillette took first in the 3-meter event in convincing fashion, outscoring second-place finisher Alysa Golden of Kansas by 40.87 with a score of 312.22. Brouillette came off a scratched performance on day one.
“I came into today trying to erase yesterday from my mind,” Brouillette said. “I’ve just got to come in, have fun, and do what I do.”
Junior Amanda Paulson and freshman Brooke Evensen got things started for the Cyclones with a one-three finish in the 100 freestyle with times of 0:51.46 and 0:52.88, respectively.
Canada native Karyl Clarete outpaced the field in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:56.95 to claim the largest lead of the contest for Iowa State, 126.5-99.5. The Cyclones finished today’s session with a first-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay behind Evensen, Paulson, Savanna Townsend, and Clarete who touched in a time of 2:28.90.
Seven Iowa State seniors competed in their final competition at Beyer Hall. Wistey, who claimed her 68th career first place finish today, was among them.
“I feel so blessed. I don’t think words can describe how grateful I am for this team,” Wistey said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do the things that I have done if it weren’t for this team.”
Kansas Press Release
The Kansas swimming and diving team fell to Iowa State, 161.5-138.5, in its final regular-season meet before Big 12 Championships.
Even with several close races, the Jayhawks could not close in on the Cyclones Saturday morning in Ames, Iowa. Kansas, 7-5 in dual meets this season, had a strong morning according to head coach Clark Campbell, but was unable to stop Iowa State from winning all but two events.
“We swam well, but not well enough to win,” Campbell said. “This was actually one of our better morning swims, but Iowa State was exceptional. Last night we won close finishes and today they won the majority of them. They were the stronger team today. We swam the way we thought we would, Iowa State just had a tremendous morning.”
Senior Alison Lusk was impressive in the 200-yard breaststroke when she swam an in-season best time in a dual meet of 2:21.10. Freshman Pia Pavlic was one of two Jayhawks to place first on Saturday. She took the top spot in the 100-yard butterfly by one-hundredth of a second with a time of 57.77. Sophomore Chelsie Miller followed suit with a first place of her own in the 200-yard IM, touching the wall with a time of 2:06.44.
“That was Alison’s fastest in-season time outside of the winter national meet,” Campbell said. “It was one of her best dual-meet swims all year. The breaststrokers have struggled, but they have made great strides as of late. We are at a good place as a team right now. We just need to go back and get some rest. We will fine tune some things and be ready to go in Austin.”
Another Jayhawk to put up points was senior Morgan Sharp, who took second in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 52.55. The Jayhawks had a quick turnaround into the final eight events on Saturday morning, as the first half of the meet was held the night before. According to Campbell, learning how to perform better in the morning is one thing his team can improve on before the conference championships.
“We need to learn how to deal with bouncing back from night racing to morning racing,” Campbell said. “We need to be sharper when we get to Austin. The conference championships have a different vibe because we have more time to adjust to the facility. Meets like this are more difficult because everything happens so quickly.”
The duo of senior Alyssa Golden and sophomore Meredith Brownell took second and third in the three-meter dive with scores of 271.35 and 260.48, respectively. The Jayhawks closed the meet by placing second in the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:32.50).
“We swam well, but I have to give Iowa State a lot of credit,” Campbell said. “They had a fantastic session this morning. They are a good dual meet team and had more energy than we did. They were pumped and ready to go. We weren’t able to match their level of performance today. This is just one step, though. We will use this as motivation and swim better at the Big 12 Championships.”
The Jayhawks have a three-week break before they head to Austin, Texas, for the Big 12 Championships Feb. 26-March 1.