Three Big Takeaways: Swim & Dive postseason continues

Iowa+State+senior+Lucia+Rizzo+competes+in+the+2022+Big+12+Swim+and+Dive+Championships+on+Feb+25+in+Morgantown%2C+W.VA.

Dale Sparks/ALL-PRO Photography & Framing

Iowa State senior Lucia Rizzo competes in the 2022 Big 12 Swim and Dive Championships on Feb 25 in Morgantown, W.VA.

Anthony Hanson

With the 2022 Big 12 swimming and diving championships wrapping up Saturday, the season is over for most Iowa State swimmers. 

Iowa State took fifth in the field at the highly competitive tournament over the weekend. 

From setting a range of personal bests, to demonstrating the ability for some further postseason glory, here are the takeaways from Iowa State’s final meet as a team. 

Missing a major piece

The Cyclones produced a team score of 497.5 without a key performer on the final days of the Big 12 Championships.

Senior Lucia Rizzo, who gave the Cyclones 46 points last season, was unavailable the last two days and scored the Cyclones only one point. 

Rizzo swam had the eight best seed time in the 200-yard butterfly, however, did not compete in the finals of that event on Saturday. Rizzo’s 2.03.39 200-fly season best would have scored her sixth at Saturday’s meet. 

On Thursday, Rizzo swam a season best time of 2:02.09 in the 200-yard IM. Rizzo trimmed 1.62 seconds off her preliminary time and scored a point for Iowa State in the competitive event. 

Friday morning, Rizzo swam 21st in the field in the 400-yard IM. The Iowa State senior’s time of 4:29.95 was about seven seconds slower than her season best. Rizzo did not compete in the Friday evening finals of that event. 

The individual performance of Rizzo would have certainly scored addition points for Iowa State. The Cyclone swimming and diving team greatly missed its biggest contributor at last year’s conference championship. 

Iowa State was behind fourth placed West Virginia by just five points. 

Facing the nation’s best

Iowa State athletes were head to head with undoubtedly some of the nation’s best swimmers.

The Texas women’s team has now won the Big 12 Championship for ten consecutive seasons. Texas swept the women’s side, winning every swimming and diving event.

Along with having the swimmer and diver of the meet, the Longhorns broke several Big 12 records during the four-day tournament. Longhorn swimmer Kelly Pash earned swimmer of the meet status after she scored 60 points for her team. Pash won the 100-freestyle, 400-IM and the 200-IM. 

Anna Elendt set conference records with her swims in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke events. Cyclones Lehr Thorson and Martha Haas placed third and fourth the the 200-breast and fifth and sixth in the 100-breast.

Texas backstroker Olivia Bray also clocked two meet records throughout the week.

Iowa State was behind conference leader Texas by a margin of 585.5 team points

Next stop, Atlanta?

Two Iowa State swimmers preformed for three NCAA “B” cut times throughout the week at the Big 12 tournament. Martha Haas once and Lehr Thorson twice beat the threshold in the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke. 

This means, the swimmers will have to wait and see if their postseason will continue or end at the Big 12’s.

All swimmers with an NCAA “A” time automatically qualify to the NCAA championships in Atlanta, Ga. beginning March 16. The remaining slots are given to swimmers who have met the “B” threshold. 

In the 200-breaststroke, Martha Haas beat the cut time by just .10 seconds.