The Cyclones (3-3, 1-0 Big 12) could not hold onto their early lead as the Iowa Hawkeyes (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten) won 162-138 on Friday night.
The Cyclones gained momentum right away when the standout 200-medley relay squad of Emily Haan, Martha Haas, Elynn Tan and Evan Hundley combined for a time of 1:41.38, good enough for a tight victory over the Hawkeyes (1.41.78) and the eighth-fastest time in school history.
That race was followed by second place finishes from Haley Ruegemer in the 1000 freestyle (10:02.20) and Anna Andersen in the 200 freestyle (1:49.41). Even though Ruegemer finished in second, that race was the third-fastest time ever swam by a Cyclone in that event.
Despite having the upper hand, the Cyclones hopes of a victory looked all but over heading into the 100 backstroke, as the freshman Haan was slated up against star NCAA qualifier Hannah Burvill. However, Haan (54.73) had other ideas as she defeated Burvill, posting the 11th fastest time in school history.
That stellar upset by Haan fueled the Cyclones further as Lehr Thorson (1:02.24) followed with a victory in the 100 breaststroke along with Tan (23.33) and Lucia Rizzo (2:03.06) swimming for personal records in the 50 freestyle and 200 fly, respectively, to each go for second place.
Heading into the first diving break, the Cyclones held a surprising 70-61 lead.
However, despite zone-qualifying marks from Dana Liva (281.40) and Sydney Ronald (266.65) on the one-meter and personal records from Liva (295.80) and Alex Aaberg on the three-meter (226.45), it was there where Iowa’s strong diving team took over and swayed the points in the Hawkeyes favor.
The swimmers continued to battle for the Cyclones in the second half of the meet, but the difference was too much to overcome.
That said, some noteworthy victories came from Thorson in the 200 breaststroke (2:16.12) and Rizzo in the 500 freestyle (4:53.60). With her performance, Thorson is only the seventh Cyclone ever to win multiple breaststroke events against Iowa.
For the Cyclones, the 24-point loss was the closest meet since Iowa State beat Iowa 167-133 in 2009 and the closest in Iowa City since a 23-point loss in 2000.
Regardless of the loss, Iowa State demonstrated the ability to come out early and put pressure on the opponent, which will be crucial as the season progresses.
With the amount of young talent on the Cyclone squad, the future is looking bright for more competitive match ups in the Cy-Hawk Series.