Cyclones take runner-up at Big 12 Championships


Daniel Jacobi II

Iowa State swimmers trade places during a relay against UNI and West Virginia in Beyer Hall on Jan. 21, 2023.

Cayden Storm, Sports Reporter

The Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships wrapped up Saturday evening with the Cyclones taking second place in an incredibly tight field.  

Iowa State edged out third-place TCU by nine points and held just a 49.5-point gap over the last place finisher Kansas Jayhawks.  

Iowa State’s second-place finish is the highest the Cyclones have finished at the Big 12 Championships since 2015. Here are three takeaways from Iowa state’s strong showing in Austin, Texas.  

Personal and School Records 

Iowa State’s 564.5 team points would not have been possible without many standout performances, some of which resulted in personal and school records.  

The 1650m freestyle featured three big-time performances that resulted in All-Big 12 second team honors. Brinley Horras set a new PR at 16:44.99 which was good for fifth place at the meet and fourth all-time in Iowa State’s record book, while Corinne Guist and Maddy Rundell also put up times good enough to find themselves sitting at 11th and 12th in school history.  

Another event that included three swimmers recording new PRs was the 100m freestyle with Sophia Goushchina (50.36), Carley Caughron (50.54), and Ashley Bengtson (51.00). Goushchina also earned All-Big 12 first team honors in the 100m backstroke.  

Elizabeth Richardson raced to a PR of 1:57.97 in the final of the 200m backstroke. This performance resulted in a third-place finish and All-Big 12 first team honor. Her time has her sitting in fifth place in the Cyclone record book at this event.  

Other impressive individual performances include Winter Craig earning an All-Big 12 Second Team honor in the 200m backstroke, Jayna Misra securing All-Big 12 Second Team honor in the platform diving finals, Sydney Jackson setting a new PR in the mile and Andie Quirke setting a new PR in the 100m freestyle bonus final.  

The meet ended with a school record time of 3:20.33 in the 400m freestyle relay by Bengtson, Caughron, Goushchina and Lucia Rizzo.  

Rizzo’s Impressive Performance 

A big reason for Iowa State’s improvement from last year’s fifth-place finish was having Lucia Rizzo back for the entire weekend this time around.  

Last year Rizzo, one of the Cyclones’ biggest contributors, was not available for the final two days of competition. Missing out on the points she could have provided was a big reason why Iowa State finished behind West Virginia, being separated by only five points.  

This year, Rizzo made her presence felt as she broke school records in the 200 IM and the 400 IM, which was good enough for All-Big 12 first team honors in both events and second team recognition in the 200m fly.  

Her impressive weekend was needed, and with only 24 points separating the Cyclones from finishing in fourth instead of second, every point she provided was crucial.  

Wrapping up the Season 

This was the final time that all Cyclones will be competing until next season.  

To qualify for the NCAA Championships, swimmers need to achieve an “A” time to automatically qualify or finish with a “B” time in which they would have a chance to become qualifiers.  

None of the Cyclones were able to automatically qualify or make the “B” cut times.  

The Cyclones go out on a high note, though. They were able to finish higher in the standings than West Virginia and Kansas, two teams who had beaten them earlier in the season and finished behind only Texas who has now won eleven consecutive Big 12 titles.