Cyclone Swim and Dive face improved Panther team to start season


Iowa State and South Dakota swimmers start the 50 freestyle event Nov. 8. The Cyclones won the meet 212-84.

Anthony Hanson

Iowa State Swimming and Diving travels to Cedar Falls, Iowa, to face Northern Iowa in a dual meet Saturday.

The Panthers started their season with a historical win over in-state rival Iowa. The Oct. 1 win for UNI marked the first time the program has beaten the Hawkeyes. UNI will be Iowa State’s first opponent of the 2021 regular season. 

“[UNI] has gotten better and better every year,” Iowa State head coach Duane Sorenson said. “Their coach Nick Lake and is doing an outstanding job there, and his swimmers are getting faster and faster, so we’ve got to be ready to compete.”

Iowa State defeated Northern Iowa 212-86 last season in January.

The Panthers’ improvement does not alter the mindset ahead of the match-up, according to junior swimmer Trinity Gilbert. 

“You just have to bring your all at every single meet and event that you swim. It doesn’t matter who you’re racing,” Gilbert said. “You’ve got to get up and race and beat the person next to you.”

Gilbert won the 200-yard IM event, competing against her teammates at the Cardinal and Gold scrimmage on Oct. 1. Gilbert is excited to be back traveling with the team for a full regular season.

Iowa State’s veteran swimmers and divers are hungry to compete after a disappointing finish at the Big 12 Championships last season, according to Sorenson.

At the end of a season shortened by COVID-19, Iowa State placed fifth at the Big 12 Championship. The Cyclones score of 522 was four points short of fourth place and six points short of third place. 

“A lot of us have a fire going because how the season ended last year,” diver and team captain Michelle Schlossmacher Smith said.

Schlossmacher Smith placed first in the 3-meter dive and second in the 1-meter dive at the Cardinal and Gold scrimmage. Schlossmacher Smith has reached the finals at the NCAA Zone Diving Championship two years in a row.

Saturday, Schlossmacher Smith and the Cyclone divers will face Missouri Valley Conference diver of the week Taylor Hogan.

“We get to show all the hard work we’ve been putting in since that day at the Big 12’s.” Schlossmacher Smith said.

Adding depth, particularly in sprint freestyle events, is key for moving up in the Big 12 landscape, according to Sorenson. Iowa State has added four newcomers and two transfers this year.  

Freshmen Carley Caughron won both the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly at the Cardinal and Gold scrimmage.

“We think she’s a real diamond in the rough,” Sorenson said. “She’s got a bright future not just this year, but the next three, four years,” Sorenson said. 

Caughron was runner-up at the Iowa Girls High School Championships in the 100-yard freestyle last year for Waterloo West.

The meet will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9,from Glen F. Henry Swimming and Diving Pool in Cedar Falls.