Senior swimmers go out on top


Photo: Suhaib Tawil/Iowa State Daily

The ISU women’s swim team gets ready for practice Jan. 29 at Beyer Pool.

John Barry

There may be hundreds of different words that could describe this group of ISU swimmers and divers, but “special” is a word that these six ladies feel could not fit more perfectly.

This past Saturday, seniors Bri Carlberg, Marley Dobyns, Dani Harris, Sarah Norris, Marley Suckow and Tiana Wollin were recognized for their leadership and commitment to the ISU swimming and diving program for the past four-plus years.

“It’s been a fun group,” said ISU swimming coach Duane Sorenson. “They came in pretty inexperienced, Dani Harris being the only one with a lot of previous experience. Everybody else was pretty new to the game; Bri Carlberg and Marley Suckow were only swimming a couple of years before they came in here.”

Wollin came to Iowa State as a walk-on in the fall of 2009 and had to go through a series of tryouts to make the team.

“The chemistry of this year’s team has been exciting to be a part of,” Wollin said. “It was strange after 10 years of swimming to have one of my last meets for ISU on Saturday.”

Seniors have traditionally been leaders on every team, but with the majority of the team being underclassmen, the seniors stepped up and showed great leadership throughout this past season.

Three different seniors have led by example, making their way into ISU record books with top-10 finishes. Harris and Norris found their way into the record books in the 200-meter medley relay event while Dobyns made an all-time ISU record for platform dives.

“Senior year you really grow up,” Norris said. “You start to realize what everything means to you; you no longer take anything for granted. I know all of us seniors are trying to take in every last bit we can.”

Norris has been coming to ISU swim camps since she was in the seventh grade and said she has known she wanted to swim for the Cyclones for a while.

This group of women, whom mostly came from across the Midwest but from very diverse swimming backgrounds, have come together to form a sisterhood of six.

“One minute you’re a freshman, then you blink and it’s over,” Norris said. “It gets much more sad as the end gets near, but I have had so many wonderful memories with this team. I think that the memory I will cherish the most is having this opportunity and sharing it with all the girls I have come to love.”

A trip to Puerto Rico during winter break for training and a friendly meet against Rutgers brought the team even closer together as a bonding experience.

This is a group of seniors that sometimes calls themselves perfectionists, but in the end, all six agree they are their best friends.

“We are a dedicated but fun group,” Norris said. “Definitely my best friends.”