Three Big Takeaways: A historic start for Swim and Dive



Iowa State redshirt freshman Winter Craig swims in the 200-meter fly against TCU on Jan. 14. (Photo courtesy of Luke Lu/Iowa State Athletics communications)

Anthony Hanson

Iowa State swimming and diving took down another Big 12 opponent and toppled a Big East powerhouse Saturday in Morgantown, West Virginia. 

With dual wins over West Virginia and Villanova Iowa State moved to 8-1 in head-to-head duals for the first time in program history.

Iowa State took down West Virginia by a score of 198-101 and took down Villanova by just five points (150-145).

Iowa State is 2-0 against Big 12 opponents with just one dual before the Big 12 Championships.  

Here are the takeaways from the historic Saturday for Cyclone swimming and diving.

A Historic Start

Heading into Saturday’s competition Iowa State was boasting the program’s best start since 2009-10. Prior to Saturday, Iowa State had six dual wins and an impressive second place finish at the Kansas Classic. Iowa State was looking to take its impressive start to the next level on Saturday with two more dual victories.

Two dual victories would lift the Cyclones to their best start in program history and extend a dual win streak to five. 

The Iowa State swimmers and divers relished the opportunity to make program history and picked up two marquee victories. 

Iowa State swept the 100-yard breaststroke event. Senior Martha Haas took first in front of her teammates Lehr Thorson and Alaina Breitbach in second and third.

Later in the meet, Haas picked up her 500th career point after a first-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke.

Iowa State 200-yard medley team placed second behind Villanova.

Iowa State diver Michelle Schlossmacher Smith earned a victory in the three-meter dive and the one-meter dive. Schlossmacher Smith performed for a score of 286.55 in the three-meter and a score of 265.65 on the one-meter boards.

Schlossmacher Smith is adding to an already impressive senior campaign for the Cyclones. Schlossmacher Smith has now tallied 13 zone cuts on the season. The team captain is preparing herself to represent the Cyclones in the Zone Diving Championships on Feb. 23 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Iowa State’s performance showed depth and poise and demonstrated Iowa State is primed to compete in the upcoming postseason. 

Iowa State captured eight dual wins for the first time since 2010-11 on Saturday. 

The record of 8-1 is the best winning percentage of any Iowa State team. 

Knocking off a powerhouse

Villanova women’s swimming and diving has won the Big East Championship eight seasons in a row. 

Villanova is led by an eight-time Big East gold medal winner Kelly Montesi. Montesi has twice won the Big East Most Outstanding Swimmer award. 

Montesi continued to dominate competition with her performance on Saturday. The fifth-year senior took the win in each of her three individual events. She also contributed to Villanova’s first place finish in the 200-yard medley relay, swimming the opening leg.

Iowa State challenged the high decorated Montesi in the 200-yard medley relay with a second-place finish. And Lucia Rizzo challenged Montesi in the 200-yard IM and the 100-yard butterfly, placing third and second respectfully, but no Cyclones could finish in front of Montesi. 

The one-time Big East Most Outstanding Swimmer Milly Routledge captured two event wins for the Wildcats, a second-place finish and was involved in a first-place relay team for Villanova. 

With high-caliber athletes in the pool for Villanova, Iowa State needed depth to take down the Wildcats. The entire roster came through with Iowa State scoring points up and down the line-up

Taking down an impressive Villanova is a marquee win for the Cyclones. Head coach Duane Sorenson’s Cyclones demonstrated, with the win, they are readied to compete on the national stage in the upcoming postseason. 

Finishing Strong

Iowa State’s most recent historic start was the 2010-11 season. The Cyclones began that season 5-1 in head-to-heads.  

In that season, however, Iowa State’s luck ran out to finish the season.

After a Dec. 10 loss to Iowa, Iowa State loss four straight duals and finished the season 5-5. The 2010-11 campaign ended with a sixth-place finish at the Big 12 Championship.

Iowa State’s last eight-win season was the 2009-10 season. That year the Cyclones finished 5th at the Big 12 Championships. 

Success in the dual schedule did not translate to postseason success in those years. 

Iowa State will next face Kansas before heading to the highly anticipated Big 12 Championships. 

The Cyclones need to show consistency to bring the head-to-head success to the big stage in the Big 12 Conference.