Iowa State Names Season Award Winners
AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State swimming and diving team handed out season awards on Sunday afternoon at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center during the team’s annual awards banquet.
Junior freestyler Amanda Paulson claimed Most Valuable Swimmer for the third time in her career, becoming just the fourth three-time honoree in program history and the first since Lauren Breunig (2004-07). Paulson notched 30 event victories on the season and tackled her own school record in the 50 freestyle at the Big 12 Conference Championships. Swimming the leadoff leg, Paulson also helped clinch a new school record in the 200 freestyle relay at the conference championships.
Senior Jessica Henderson and sophomore Elyse Brouillette shared Co-Most Valuable Diver honors. Henderson lead the Cyclones in scoring on the one-meter board with a school record 314.40-point performance at the Big 12 Conference Championships, while Brouillette posted top-scores for Iowa State in the three-meter (329.48) and platform events (251.25). The duo combined for 21 top-three finishes throughout the 2013-14 season, and both divers advanced to finals in all three events during the conference championships.
Henderson was also named Most Improved Diver after returning to the diving well from a season ending concussion that sidelined her for the majority of her junior year.
Marissa Engel received recognition as the team’s Most Improved Swimmer. The sophomore from Grayslake, Ill. recorded a second-place finish for the Cyclones in the 200 backstroke at the Big 12 Conference Championships, earning First Team All-Big 12 honors in the process. Engel racked-up a total of 25 top-three finishes on the season.
Canada native Karyl Clarete was honored as Iowa State’s Newcomer of the Year after her breakout freshman year. Clarete posted 22 first-place finishes on the year including a stretch of eight-consecutive events spanning three meets in which she claimed a top-finish. Clarete wasted no time cracking the Iowa State record books as she claimed school records in the 500, 1000 and 1650 freestyle individually while helping record the fastest 800 freestyle relay time in program history.
The Melissa Fender Award, recognizing the student-athlete who is most proud of her school, proud to wear the school colors and proud to be a member of the swimming and diving team, went to senior Alex Gustafson. During her senior season, Gustafson led by example both in and out of the pool as she was featured on the Women Impacting ISU Calendar and inducted into Iowa State Cardinal Key Honor Society.
Savanna Townsend was honored as the Cyclone Relay Swimmer. The freshman freestyler was a member of the school record breaking 200 freestyle relay team and the 400 freestyle relay team which currently ranks second all-time in program history.
For the second year in a row, senior Imelda Wistey took home the Kerry O’Brien Award which is recognizes a student-athlete who demonstrates the personal commitment necessary to achieve improvement to a national championship level. Wistey represented Iowa State at the 2014 NCAA Championships after earning “B” cut times in both the 100 breaststroke (1:00.46) and the 200 breaststroke (2:13.76). Wistey ended the season with 24 first-place finishes.
The Strength and Condition Awards, honoring team members that dedicate themselves in the weight room and to dry-land conditioning to achieve the strength and endurance to compete at a championship level, went to senior Katie Vollhaber and Henderson.