Women’s swim team falls in final home meet of season

Joe Randleman

The ISU women’s swimming team closed out the dual meet season on a sour note Saturday as the Cyclones fell to Kansas 171-124 at Beyer Pool in Ames.

The loss dropped ISU to 5-5 on the season and was a tough way for seniors Heather Bennett, Jenn Marsters, A-Lisa Miles, Michelle Sexton and Kelly Yates to go out. The women were participating in their final home meet for the Cyclones.

However, ISU head coach Duane Sorenson said he was pleased with the overall performance of his team against the Jayhawks.

“We raced extremely well,” Sorenson said. “It was our final tune up for the Big 12 championships, and we had several swimmers step up and swim good races.”

The Cyclones were paced by Amber McDowell, who won the 100 and 200-yard butterfly events with career-best times of :58.23 and 2:04.26, respectively.

McDowell said she was happy with her effort, and she is looking to continue her momentum at the Big 12 championships in hopes of automatically qualifying for the NCAA championships held in March.

“I’m aiming to get my best times at the Big 12 meet and to make the NCAA automatic qualifying time,” she said.

“It’d be a great achievement to make it,” McDowell said. “It’s been a goal of mine ever since I’ve been here.”

Iowa State also received a strong performance from freshman Carmella Nogar, who won the 200 individual medley and placed second in the 200 backstroke.

Sorenson said he was also pleased with the efforts of Yates in the 500 and 1000 freestyle and Kelly Schawntz, who put out her best effort of the season in the 200 breaststroke.

The Cyclone diving squad chipped in a solid effort, led by junior Jennifer Maupin.

Maupin placed third on the 3-meter board with a score of 261.68. She finished fourth in the 1-meter competition with a 241.27 point total.

ISU now turns its focus toward the Big 12 championships held at College Station, Texas, on Feb. 17-19.

Sorenson said he is expecting all of his swimmers to perform well and is looking for them to surpass last year’s team effort.

“I’m looking for each individual to perform a personal best time and then see how many of the NCAA qualification standards we can achieve,” Sorensen said.