Takeaways: Cyclones defeat Mountaineers on senior night

Iowa State sophomore Haley Ruegemer swims the 1000-yard free during the meet against West Virginia Jan. 21 at Beyer Hall. Ruegemer finished third with a time of 10:33.96.

John Miller

The Iowa State (7-3, 2-0 Big 12) and West Virginia (3-3, 1-1 Big 12) swimming and diving teams went head-to-head in a conference matchup on Saturday in Ames, Iowa.

The Cyclones emerged victorious as they earned a 152-148 win to put themselves at the top of the Big 12 Conference.

It was the Cyclones senior night, which made the win that much sweeter for Iowa State.

With that said, there were a few things to point out in the tight contest.

1000 freestyle

In the second race of the dual, senior captain Haley Ruegemer was down by over two seconds to West Virginia’s Lauryn Kallay heading into the 700-yard mark.

However, Ruegemer managed to storm back in the next 100 yards to tie Kallay. Ruegemer ended up winning the event by over two seconds.

This was a massive win for the Cyclones because it did not let the momentum shift to the Mountaineers early in the meet. Considering that the Cyclones followed Ruegemer’s performance with wins in two of the next three races, this early race could’ve provided the Mountaineers with the edge they needed to take the lead early and then break away later.  

Going forward, this was a huge victory for Ruegemer as she will go for her fourth Big 12 all-conference selection.  

West Virginia’s strong comeback led by divers

By winning four of the first five events, the Cyclones held a commanding 63-30 lead.

The Mountaineers needed to mount a major comeback, which they did.

West Virginia won nine of the next eleven events mainly on the backs of swimmer Morgan Bullock and divers Averly Hobbs and Maddie Woods.

The sophomore Bullock won the 100 butterfly, 200 butterfly and the 200 individual medley.

Hobbs took first in the three-meter and one-meter diving platform events while Woods took second in the three-meter and fourth in the one-meter.

The Cyclones delivered two victories during this stretch came from Anna Andersen in the 100 freestyle and Emily Haan in the 200 backstroke.

If the Cyclones are going to stand any chance at winning the Big 12 Championships, they will have to shore up the middle of meets to keep the early leads they get.

The 400 freestyle relay

For the fourth time in five years, the outcome of the Iowa State and West Virginia match up came down to the final race.

This year, the score was 144-139 in favor of West Virginia going into the 400-freestyle relay.

Behind the efforts of Anna Andersen, Emily Haan, Evan Hundley and Elynn Tan, the Cyclones defeated the Mountaineers’ 400 freestyle squad by over a second.

With this win, the Cyclones extended their current win streak to four.

Despite giving their early lead away, the Cyclones showed that they fulfilled their goal of finishing races and meets.

The Cyclones that participated in their last meet at Beyer Hall were: Ruegemer, Hundley and diver Sydney Ronald.