MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – It was another close battle between the West Virginia University women’s swimming and diving team and Big 12 foe Iowa State, as the Mountaineers fell 153-147 on Saturday at Beyer Pool in Ames, Iowa.
The Mountaineers held a tight lead throughout the meet against the Cyclones, but it came down to the final event, where Iowa State won the 200 freestyle relay.
“I couldn't be prouder of these ladies,” said coach Vic Riggs. “We knew it was going to be close and knowing that each of these ladies competed and fought like Mountaineers today, we just ran out of bodies at the end. It is certainly disappointing to lose such a close meet but many of our swims were as good as last week, which is great considering we're on the road.”
West Virginia notched eight victories, one in relay competition and seven in individual events. The Mountaineers' day included two 1-2-3 finishes in the 200 backstroke and the 100 butterfly. Freshman Morgan Bullock
led WVU with three wins, one in relay and two in individual events.
“Winning eight events was great and having the swims we had today sets us up well for Big 12s,” Riggs said.
Competition started off well for the Mountaineer women, as a team of freshman Julia Miranda
, sophomore Emma Harris
, Bullock and freshman Julia Nilton
won the 400 medley relay with a time of 3:50.71.
“Starting off winning the relay was key, and we had a great first session with Emma Skelley
, Julia M and Morgan B, all winning events,” said Riggs. “In the middle session we swept the 200 back and 100 fly along with wins from Emma H. and Emma S., respectfully, which really got us back into the lead going into the last session. Our IMers did a great job but it just wasn't enough to close out the meet.”
The Mountaineers took 1-2 finishes in the 1,000 freestyle. Senior Emma Skelley
won, touching the wall in 10:22.32. Freshman Alex Pampalone
came in second with a season-best time of 10:29.92, shedding 9.1 seconds off of her previous season-best time.
Miranda took her second victory of the day and her first individual win in the 100 backstroke with a time of 56.57, besting ISU’s Harper Emswiler by 1.54 seconds.
West Virginia grabbed a 1-2 finish in the 200 butterfly, as Bullock won with a time of 2:04.29. Sophomore Morgan Carr
touched in second with a time of 2:05.09.
WVU went 1-2-3 in the 200 backstroke, thanks to junior Amelie Currat
's win in 2:03.06. Miranda followed in second, touching in 2:04.64 and junior Taylor Gill
came in third with a time of 2:05.22.
In the 200 breaststroke, Harris’ 2:18.72 won the race for the Mountaineers, beating Iowa State’s Kasey Roberts by 0.73 seconds.
Skelley claimed her second individual win of the day in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:58.98, winning over ISU's Keely Soellner by nearly seven seconds.
West Virginia added its second 1-2-3 finish in the 100 butterfly. Bullock scored her second individual win with a 57.66. Carr came in second place with a time of 58.42 and Miranda touched in third in 58.81.
On springboard, sophomores Madelyn Woods
and Julia Calcut
posted top-two finishes. Woods placed second on 3-meter, scoring 273.60, and Calcut finished second on 1-meter with a score of 302.65.
“Today was a tough day on the boards, the divers had to fight for every point they earned,” said diving coach Michael Grapner. “I'm pleased with their performance, though not the results we had hoped for. I continue to stress the importance of confident-aggressive diving. I am starting to see that on some of their dives, but we need it on all the dives to get the W.”
The WVU women hold a record of 4-5, 1-1 in Big 12 competition.
Up next, the men and women return to the road for a pair of races at Bucknell and Villanova. WVU faces Bucknell on Friday, Jan. 27, at 6 p.m. ET, before traveling to Villanova the following day for a 1 p.m. ET matchup.