Swim and Dive back on the road for two duals



Iowa State senior Michelle Schlossmacher Smith competes in the three-meter dive against TCU on Jan. 14. (Photo courtesy of Luke Lu/Iowa State Athletics communications)

Anthony Hanson

A familiar Big 12 foe and a Big East powerhouse are the next challenges ahead of Iowa State swimming and diving.

Iowa State faces West Virginia and Villanova in a road triangular matchup Saturday in Morgantown, West Virginia. The matchup is the first road contest for the Cyclones since the Kansas Classic over two months ago on Nov. 17.

Picking up two dual wins on Saturday would extend Iowa State’s dual win steak to five. The Cyclones have not suffered a loss since Oct. 30 against Nebraska. Five consecutive dual wins would be a first for Iowa State since the 2010-11 season, but to do so Iowa State will need to knock off an impressive Villanova team and the 2-1 West Virginia Mountaineers.

Villanova has won eight consecutive Big East conference championships — all of which are under the watch of current head coach Rick Simpson. The Wildcats bring to the matchup the most recent Big East female swimmer of the week Kelly Montesi.

Montesi is an all-around talent and highly decorated in the Big East Conference. The senior boasts eight individual Big East gold medals across four different events. Montesi has three titles in the 400-yard IM and two in the 200-yard IM in her career.

She’s won Big East Most Outstanding Women’s Swimmer twice.

Montesi will face Iowa State’s record holder in both IM events Lucia Rizzo. Rizzo took the win in the 200-yard IM most recently against TCU Jan. 15.

Iowa State’s talented freestylers will be pitted against another decorated Big East athlete. Milly Routledge was the Big East Most Outstanding Women’s Swimmer for the 2019-20 season and has earned five individual conference gold medals in her five years with the program.

Villanova suffered a loss to Pittsburgh in its last outing on Jan. 20 but has an overall dual record of 5-2.

West Virginia has two dual wins coming into Saturday’s triangular matchup. The Mountaineers have not seen action since the WVU Invitational on Nov. 20. The program’s most recent scheduled dual against Pitt on Jan. 17 was canceled due to COVID-19 protocols within the West Virginia program.

Facing Iowa State will be the first conference matchup for West Virginia.

Iowa State athletes received recognition in the most recent Big 12 weekly awards. Senior breaststroker Martha Haas was awarded Swimmer of the Week and redshirt freshman and Tulane transfer Winter Craig was awarded Newcomer of the Week.

Iowa State come off a win in its first Big 12 dual against TCU. The Cyclones were behind on the first day of competition after TCU scored multiple narrow victories and a top Iowa State relay team suffered a false start. Iowa State finished the second day of competition ahead by a score of 173-161.

Swimming and diving from Morgantown will begin Saturday at 10 a.m.