Swimmers and Divers split up for two road trips


Iowa State freshman Lauren Kimball dives in the Cyclones’ meet against the University of Nebraska on Oct. 30.

Anthony Hanson

Multi-day tournaments are the next challenge for Iowa State swimming and diving.

With four dual wins under their belt, the Cyclone squad returns to the road this week for two multi-day tournaments against great competition.

First, Iowa State diving will take part in the Mizzou Invite starting on Wednesday, then, while the Iowa State swimmers will race at the Kansas Classic, beginning on Friday. Both three-day tournaments are the first of the year for Iowa State.

“This is an early run through,” head diving coach Jeff Warrick said. “Kind of like a dress rehearsal, getting ready for the big one at the end.”

Warrick’s divers get their first shot at tournament-style competition at the Mizzou Invite. Teams from seven conferences will make up the highly competitive field of eight. Notably, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Wyoming and Nebraska will all dive against a red-hot Iowa State team.

Iowa State comes off an electric 101-point victory against Omaha on Nov. 5. The previous dual saw Iowa State test lineup combinations, set new season bests and win 13 out of 14 events against Summit League competition. Now, Iowa State enters pools with high-major programs, a challenge that will prepare Iowa State to fulfill its end of season goals at the Big 12 Championship. 

The Mizzou Invite is a return to normal for Iowa State. Last season, Iowa State did not compete in any tournament style meets until the Big 12 Championship in February. 

“We tried to simulate this at home last year,” Warrick said. “Having a three-day invitational with just our own team, it was quite a bit different.”

The Mizzou Invite will certainly brings the level of competition up from Iowa State’s dual schedule. The field contains no shortage of top-notch divers.

Sara Troyer (Nebraska), Lauren Gryboski (Kansas) and Sarah Rousseau (Missouri), Melissa Mirafuentes (Wyoming) all have received conference recognition during the season. All four are listed in the field for the invitational. 

Iowa State’s own Michelle Schlossmacher Smith was the Big 12 Diver of the week for the week of Nov. 3. Iowa State was without the senior team captain in its most recent dual agasint Omaha. Warrick was certain she would return following that dual

Two Iowa State divers posted zone qualifying scores in the most recent dual against Omaha. Jayna Misra and Joscelyn Buss will look to build off their impressive performance and continue to set new season bests. 

The Mizzou Invite starts on Wednesday with prelims and finals for the 3-meter dive. The meet continues Thursday and Friday with the 1-meter and platform events respectively. Each day diving begins at noon.

For swimming, the three-day, six session Kansas Classic is also the same format as the end of year Big 12 Championship. Beginning Nov. 19, the swimmers are racing prelims in the first session of each day. The athletes must fight for a spot to return to the later session and race in the finals and score points for the Cyclones.

Swimming coach Duane Sorenson also used the words “dress rehearsal” to describe the Kansas Classic. Sorenson hopes it will serve as a reminder to his team of what it takes to succeed in championship style competition. 

“You really have to work on being ready to race,” Sorenson said.

The keys, according to Sorenson, are to focus on the little things and take the weekend long competition one event at a time. Recovery, rest and nutrition will all need to be in the minds of the Iowa State athletes as they navigate the weekend’s races.

Iowa State placed second at the Kansas Classic in 2019. This season marks the return of the event after it was not played in the 2020-2021 season. Expect Iowa State’s biggest competition to be fellow Big 12 opponent Kansas. 

The Jayhawks are 2-1 in duals and have had their fair share of Big 12 honors on the early season. Breaststroker Kate Steward has been named Big 12 swimmer of the week twice this season. Her teammate Ellie Howe earned the honor of newcomer of the week for the week of Oct. 27.

Iowa State freshman Carley Caughron grabbed the most recent Big 12 newcomer of the week honor after winning the 100-yard freestyle on Nov. 5 against Omaha.

“It’s a great honor for Carley,” Sorenson said. “She had a great meet against UNO and it’s nice to see her rewarded for her great performance.”

Indiana State, Northern Iowa, North Texas and Arkansas at Little Rock round out the field at the Kansas Classic. For North Texas, watch out for backstroker Diana Kolb the one-time Conference USA swimmer of the week. 

Swimming competition will begin on Friday and continue Saturday and Sunday from Columbia, Missouri.