Cyclones battle, remain in fifth place after day three of Big 12 Championships

Then-sophomore Lehr Thorson swims the 200-yard breaststroke with the Iowa State women’s swimming and diving team in their meet with Illinois State University on Jan. 18. Iowa State won 191-100.

John Miller

After day three of the Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships in Austin, Texas, the Iowa State Cyclones (7-4, 2-1 Big 12) are still in fifth place with 289 points.  

The Cyclones did make up a few crucial points on fourth-place TCU, as Iowa State started the day down by 31 points compared to 29 points at the end of Friday. The Cyclones did fall back a bit on third-place West Virginia, though, as they now trail the Mountaineers by 61 points.  

That said, Iowa State’s day was highlighted by four ‘A’ finals appearances. An ‘A’ finals appearance is made by placing 1-8 in an event during preliminaries.

There were also 14 ‘B’ or consolation finals appearances, which are rewarded for a 9-16 placing in preliminaries.

Elynn Tan started the day for the Cyclones with a bang as she qualified for the ‘A’ finals in the 100 butterfly, swimming a personal-record time of 54.24 to move her up to third on Iowa State’s all-time performers list. She would later go on to finish sixth and become the first Cyclone to medal in the 100 butterfly since 2015.

Anna Andersen also moved into third on the Cyclones’ all-time performers list as she put up a personal-best time of 1:48.39 in the 200 freestyle ‘A’ finals to take fifth place.  

Haley Ruegemer took home a fifth place of her own in the 400 individual medley, finishing in 4:20.88.

Rounding out the ‘A’ qualifiers was Lehr Thorson, who finished with a time of 1:02.45 in the 100 breaststroke, good enough for eighth place.

All four Cyclone swimmers that made the ‘A’ finals claimed second-team All-Big 12 honors for finishing in the 5-8 spots.

Other Cyclones that put their personal-best times on the day were: Evan Hundley (55.48) and Jazlyn Horras (56.04) in the 100 backstroke and Kami Pankratz in the 400 individual medley (4:25.84).

Other notable consolation finishes came from Martha Haas (1:02.76) in the 100 breaststroke and Emily Haan (55.01) in the 100 backstroke, who were both close to earning Big 12 honors. The duo won their consolation finals to take ninth place.

Haan improved her a time by over a second from the prelims, and her final time was better than the seventh and eighth place finishers of the ‘A’ finals. But since she missed the ‘A’ finals in preliminaries, ninth was the highest place she could get.

Haan would bounce back in the final event of the night though as she teamed with Tan, Andersen, and Hundley in the 200 freestyle relay to combine for a season-best of 1:32.06, which puts them third in school history.

Iowa State divers Sydney Ronald and Dana Liva both showcased their abilities as well, as they both qualified for the consolation finals on the three meter board, finishing 10th (288.90) and 15th (237.50), respectively.

Heading into the final day of the Championships, the Cyclones will attempt to use their depth and teamwork to surpass TCU and West Virginia to earn a top-3 finish.