Seniors honored at weekend dual against Kansas


Courtesy of Iowa State Athletics

Freshman Guy Shilon holds the Israeli flag after a swimming and diving match Feb. 6

Allison Walters

Despite a loss to the Kansas Jayhawks with a score of 172.5-127, it was still a special weekend for the ISU swimming and dive team.

The meet was not only the last before the Big 12 Championships but also senior weekend.

The meet was split into two separate days to simulate the format of the Big 12 Championships. 

With signs hung around the pool walls celebrating the seniors and a large crowd sitting in the stands, the seniors were escorted out by their families and received a framed mural representing their time as ISU athletes.

The weekend was especially meaningful to senior Shahar Silberman, whose father, Arie, came from the other side of the world to see his daughter swim her last meet. 

“I’m really excited to have him here,” Shahar said. “It’s great to have the support.”

After a 23-hour flight, Arie greeted Shahar after not seeing her since August.

Arie, who lives in Israel, is staying with Shahar in Ames until the Big 12 Championships, where he will fly down to Texas to watch her compete one last time.

“She works very hard,” Arie said. “It’s not simple to be an athlete and to study and get a good degree.”

After escorting Shahar across the tiled floor, the Israeli national anthem played as the crowd stood facing the Israeli flag, which was held by Israeli native and Shahar’s friend, Guy Shilon.

As Shahar’s time as a collegiate athlete comes to an end, her future without swimming is quickly approaching.

After she gets her degree at Iowa State, Shahar plans to go back to Israel and apply for medical school.

“It’s bittersweet,” Shahar said. “I’m really sad its over because its been a great journey.”

The night was also special to senior diver Elyse Brouillette, who broke the school record in the 1-meter diving with a score of 322.20, passing the 314.40 score set by Jessica Hansen in 2014.  

The crowd chanted, “Let’s go, Elyse,” as it hit her that she became the best 1-meter diver to ever compete as a Cyclone.    

“I don’t think I could go out on a better note,” Brouillette said. “I never thought I would see my name on that board.”

Breaking the record on senior night as a senior meant a lot to Brouillette, especially having her family and friends in attendance. It also meant a lot because the record was the 100th record broken under Duane Sorenson’s time coaching at Iowa State. 

“There is so many great things that I wouldn’t give up for anything,” Brouillette said. “It’s been a fantastic experience.”