ISU swimming, diving grabs hometown recruit


Ames native Maggie James will be joining the ISU swimming and diving team this fall as a freshman, Iowa State announced on June 29, 2015. James was a four-year letterwinner and a three-time state diving champion for the Little Cyclones of Ames High School. 

Luke Manderfeld

ISU swimming and diving announced Monday that Ames native and upcoming freshman diver Maggie James will join the team this upcoming season along with Western Kentucky senior transfer Mollie McNeel. 

James had a successful career in high school as a diver for Ames High School. She earned four letters in four years and three state diving championships.

“I am excited that Maggie chose Iowa State University and will be joining our team this fall,” said diving coach Jeff Warrick in a press release. “Maggie has a lot of ability and experience, and I look forward to working with her and guiding her as she takes her diving to a whole new level.”

James broke a 32-year-old diving record with a 360.50-second time for the Little Cyclones in October, which bested the previous record of 352.75 seconds set by Michigan All-American Mary Fischbach.  

McNeel, a native of Lincoln, Neb., will arrive as a distance specialist and is immediately eligible.

Her decision to come to Iowa State comes following the suspension of the swimming and diving program at Western Kentucky because of a violation of the WKU Student Code of Conduct, Discrimination and Harassment Policy and Title IX Sexual Misconduct/Assault Policy. 

McNeel had a successful season, regardless, breaking the school record in the 1,650 freestyle at the CSCAA Invite on March 26 with a time of 16:40.73.

“Mollie is a great fit for our program both with her personality and she fills a need in our distance freestyle events,” said ISU swim coach Duane Sorenson in a press release. “She’s also going to be a great leader for our team.”

McNeel and James will help the Cyclones attempt another run at the Big 12 title, where they finished second last season.