Three Big Takeaways: Cyclone Swim and Dive takes down South Dakota State


Collin Maguire

Iowa State swim and dive coach Duane Sorenson talks with a Cyclone swimmer Oct. 30, 2021.

Finn Mcnally, Sports Reporter

The Cyclones won big in their first home meet, outscoring the Jackrabbits 185-100. Coming off a close loss last week to Nebraska in their first meet, the Cyclones picked up their first win of the season on Saturday. 

Still Improving

The Cyclones improved their performance from their loss against Nebraska. Their Cardinal and Gold exhibition meet was canceled due to pool maintenance, and coach Duane Sorensen believes that had a big impact on their first meet.

“You always learn from first meet to second meet, all those little mistakes,” Sorensen said.

Sorensen said the first meet is valuable for identifying issues that the team has to work on, such as turns or tempo. He said the team improved a lot, and the swimmers were conscious during the meet of the details they’d worked on.

Even after a big win, Sorensen believes they are still figuring out what needs fixing and expects the team to continue to improve heading into their meet against South Dakota next Friday

Depth is a Strength

While the Cyclones had great contributions from athletes like Lucia Rizzo, last year’s most valuable swimmer/diver, they also got contributions from swimmers up and down the roster. 

“Every person we put in there, whether it’s three or four people in that race, they’re all very competitive with each other,” Sorensen said, “so it’s not like one person is outracing everyone.” 

A lot of the team’s depth comes from the freshmen who contribute. Of Iowa State’s 185 points, 49 were scored by freshmen or by relay teams that included freshmen.

Gabrielle LePine and Maddy Dorhn are two freshmen Sorensen said he has been impressed with to start the season.

LePine won the 200-yard breaststroke handily, beating the second-place swimmer by seven seconds, and was part of the 200 medley team that took first.

Dorhn came in first in the 200-yard backstroke and led off for the team that took second in the 200 medley.

Team Expects Success

After coming in fifth in the Big 12 Championship last year, Iowa State retained a lot of their key swimmers and has gotten big contributions from newcomers to start the season.

While they probably won’t be on the same level as Texas this year, which has several Olympians on its roster, Sorensen expects the Cyclones to overcome teams like West Virginia, TCU and Kansas.

After their meet against South Dakota, the Cyclones will get their first chance to prove themselves against other Big 12 teams at the Kansas invitational on Nov. 16.