Omaha in town to face Cyclone Swim and Dive


The Iowa State swim and dive team cheered on their teammates during the meet against the University of Nebraska on Oct. 30, 2021.

Anthony Hanson

Iowa State swim and dive gets a chance to bounce back from its first loss of the season by facing another Summit League opponent on Friday against Omaha.

The University of Omaha comes to Ames to face the Cyclones in a dual meet. Iowa State boasts having the Big 12 Conference swimmer and diver of the week, Ashley Bengtson and Michelle Schlossmacher Smith. Iowa State (3-1) is still searching for its first win in front of the home fans in 2021.

Saturday, Iowa State suffered its first loss of the season against Big Ten foe Nebraska. Nebraska won 12 out of 16 events and scored 186 points while defeating Iowa State. After the loss, the team’s focus is on the little things.

“Fine details like starts and turns really do make a difference in the end,” Ashley Bengtson said. “When it comes down to the finish and points, it always comes down to a couple hundredth’s [of a second].”

In the dual with Nebraska, several races were decided by mere hundredths of a second. Senior breaststroke swimmer Lehr Thorson placed second in both the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke events. Both races were decided by less than a second, with Nebraska taking the first place points.

Bengtson, a sophomore, won the 200-yard freestyle against Nebraska but placed third in the 100-yard freestyle behind two Nebraska swimmers by a margin of .21 seconds. Bengtson became the Big 12 Conference swimmer of the week for the first time in her career on Wednesday.

Schlossmacher Smith performed well enough to receive Big 12 honors in both diving events, but placed second behind a pool record performance in the 3-meter.

Up and down the lineup, the Cyclones narrowly missed opportunities to score valuable team points. Against Omaha, the Cyclone swimmers expect to be much better “from the flags to the wall,” according to head coach Duane Sorenson.

“We want to be the competitors that we are the last length of the pool,” Sorenson said.

Omaha’s last outing was on Oct. 15 in a triangular dual at Air Force. The Mavericks placed second at the triangular, losing to Air Force and defeating Colorado School of Mines, an NCAA Division II team. On Oct. 2, Omaha dominated Nebraska Wesleyan, an NCAA Division III team, 150-42.

Iowa State started the 2020 season by dominating Omaha 187-79 on the road. Defeating Omaha on Friday will bring Iowa State to a perfect 20-0 all-time against the program.

Omaha was picked to finish fourth in the Summit League coaches’ poll behind South Dakota and South Dakota State, teams the Cyclones have beat this season.

The Cyclones’ depth will be tested against Omaha, according to Sorenson’s game plan. The head coach will give his athletes a chance to compete in events they haven’t raced this season. Fine tuning the third event will be the priority in the team’s last dual meet until Dec. 10. The squad approaches each chance to compete, regardless of opponent, as a learning opportunity preparing the swimmers and divers for their goals at the end of the season.

The second home dual will begin at 4 p.m. on Friday at Beyer Pool.