Three Big Takeaways: History made, PRs set at Kansas Classic



Iowa State senior Lucia Rizzo swims in the Cyclones’ swim meet against Northern Iowa on Jan. 30 in Beyer Pool. (Photo courtesy of Iowa State Athletics Communications)

Anthony Hanson

With the busiest week of the season in the rear-view mirror, Iowa State swimming and diving shifts its focus to “the big one”: the Big 12 Championship. 

On Sunday, the Cyclone swimmers wrapped up the second of two three-day tournaments with a second place finish at the Kansas Classic. Iowa State diving wrapped up the Mizzou Invite Friday evening. 

Both head diving coach Jeff Warrick and head swimming coach Duane Sorenson compared the tournaments to a dress rehearsal, preparing Iowa State for the higher stakes Big 12 Championships. 

After setting personal records, making appearances in the record books and facing top-tier competition, Iowa State showed it’s more than prepared to accomplish its end of season goals. 

The PR chain

Iowa State swimmers can be caught pool-side showing off some special jewelry.

Denoting a personal record, the “PR chain” was brought out many times during the three-day competition in Topeka, Kan. The Iowa State squad set a total of 16 lifetime bests.

Lehr Thorson’s third place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke notched her a lifetime best. Ashley Bengtson had another career best time with her 51.07 second performance in the 100-yard freestyle. Junior Maddy Rundell set two personal bests in the final day of the tournament. Carley Caughron and Liz Richardson set PRs in the same race when they finished 12th and 13th in the 100-yard butterfly on Saturday. 

The Cyclone swimmers aren’t just earning the right to sport fashionable bling, they are demonstrating a steady improvement as the long season progresses.

After reaching the half-way point of the season, expect the swimmers’ hard work to pay off in upcoming duals and end of season tournaments. 

Making history

The improving Cyclone team is making a mark in the Iowa State record books. 

After Friday’s competition, senior Lucia Rizzo climbed to No. 18 on the Iowa State all-time point scorers list. Rizzo went on to have herself a huge weekend, swimming her way onto the All-Invite team. In addition to being on the winning 800-yard freestyle relay team, Rizzo appeared in the ‘A’ finals four times. Rizzo finished in the top-ten each time.

Iowa State swam fast enough to add 15 new additions to the all-time top-20 lists.

With a win in the 200-yard butterfly, Winter Craig now sits at fifth on the all-time performers list in that event. Martha Haas is No. 8 in the all-time performers list in the 200-yard breaststroke after her fifth place performance on Sunday. 

Many more Iowa State athletes now boast the claim of being an all-time performer. Expect Iowa State to build off the momentum gained at the historic Kansas Classic.

Three top-10s in diving

Iowa State’s Michelle Schlossmacher Smith continued her impressive senior season at the Mizzou Invite. The team captain added another zone qualifying score to her season tally in the 3-meter dive on Wednesday. She’s now had four zone cuts in 2021. 

Schlossmacher Smith continued her dominance tallying three top-ten finishes for Iowa State, leading the way for Iowa State in the 3-meter, 1-meter and platform events. Schlossmacher Smith’s performance is made more impressive considering she did not compete in the team’s last dual against Omaha. Before Wednesday’s tournament, Schlossmacher Smith last competed Oct. 30 against Nebraska. 

Iowa State’s Joscelyn Buss and Lauren Kimball also showed slight improvement at the Mizzou Invite behind their senior team leader. Look for Iowa State to score some points in upcoming duals on the springboards.