Jenni Adams is one of the most decorated swimmers in Iowa State history, claiming four Big Eight titles and earning All-America honors in her four-year career (1988-91).
The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native was a star for the Cyclones her freshman season. She broke school records in the 100 breaststroke (1:05.12) and the 200 breaststroke (2:24.30). Adams claimed her first Big Eight title in the 100 breaststroke, locking up a spot at the NCAA Championships, where she placed 35th.
Adams’ sophomore season was arguably her best. She won a pair of Big Eight titles in the 100 and 200 breaststroke. Her time in the 100 (1:04.21) was a school record and eclipsed the Big Eight meet mark. In 1989, she was an NCAA qualifer in the 100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke and 50 freestyle. She placed 29th nationally in the 200 breaststroke, 39th in the 50 freestyle and 16th in the 100 breaststroke, earning All-America honors in the latter. She is the last Cyclone swimmer to earn All-America accolades. She was named team MVP and earned first-team academic all-Big Eight honors after her sensational sophomore season.
As a junior in 1990, Adams narrowly missed an individual Big Eight title, placing second in the 100 breaststroke and 400 freestyle medley. She capped off her incredible career as a senior (1991) by winning her fourth Big Eight crown, this time in the 50 freestyle, setting the school mark with a :23.61 clocking. She finished her career with individual school records in the 50 freestyle, 100 breaststroke (1:04.19) and 200 breaststroke (2:20.62). She still ranks among ISU’s top 10 in all three categories.
Adams was just as successful in the classroom throughout her Cyclone career. She earned academic all-Big Eight honors three times while maintaining a 3.53 GPA in exercise and sport science. Adams was named ISU’s Female Athlete of the Year in 1991.