Swimmers and divers place fifth at Big 12 Championships


Members of the swimming and diving team cheer on their teammates during the Iowa State swim meet against Kansas on Saturday, Feb. 4, at Beyer Hall.

Dan Cole

The ISU swimming and diving team finished fifth at the Big 12 Championships in Columbia, Mo. Texas A&M finished first, claiming its fourth Big 12 title in six seasons.

ISU coach Duane Sorenson said his team was fairly inconsistent throughout the week.

“We had a very up-and-down meet for our team,” Sorenson said. “We had some outstanding swims and then some that weren’t up to our expectations.”

Cyclone freshman Amanda Paulson finished seventh in the 50 freestyle on Thursday with a final time of 22.78 on her way to recording the two fastest times in the event in school history.

“That’s her favorite race,” Sorenson said. “She was really pumped up and ready for it and went out and swam like we knew she could.”

Senior diver Sarah Nelson finished ninth in 1-meter diving on Thursday with a career-best final score of 243.50. Nelson also finished eighth in 3-meter diving on Friday with a final score of 278.80.

“I thought overall she just had a really great Big 12 meet,” said ISU diving coach Jeff Warrick. “It’s the way you want your seniors to finish, and that was a great thing to see as a coach.”

Senior diver Jenn Botsch also set a career-high on 1-meter, finishing 10th with a final score of 241.95.

Warrick said it was Botsch’s work outside of the pool that has allowed to her perform so well.

“Just managing emotions and things like that so that she can just do what she normally does in practice,” Warrick said. “She did a great job of staying composed when the pressure was on, and that’s why she did so well.”

Sophomore Imelda Wistey finished eighth in the 100 breaststroke on Friday with a final time of 1:01.97, the third-fastest in school history.

“She’s trained really hard all year,” Sorenson said. “She’s nothing but great. She went out there and put it all together.”

The Cyclones received three top-10 finishes on Saturday. Nelson stayed consistent, finishing eighth in platform diving with a final score of 233.45.

Junior Dani Harris recorded her first-career top-10 finish in a Big 12 as she finished 10th in the 200 backstroke with a final time of 2:00.03.

Sorenson said Harris made some minor adjustments throughout the competition that really allowed her to finish strong.

Sophomore Emily Wiltsie finished 10th in the 200 breaststroke on Saturday with a final time of 2:17.06.

Only two events remain on the Cyclones’ schedule. The NCAA Zone ‘D’ Diving Championships are scheduled for March 8 to 10 in Iowa City, Iowa, followed by the NCAA Championships on March 15 to 17 in Auburn, Ala.