Seven Iowa State Seniors Cap Distinguished Careers
AMES, Iowa – After a 27-point senior day victory over in conference rival Kansas (7-5, 0-1 Big 12), the Iowa State swimming and diving team (7-3-1, 2-1 Big 12) capped off the ninth-best regular season campaign in school history. Leading the Cyclones to their seven dual meet wins were seven seniors.
Alex Gustafson, Jessica Henderson, Hayley Krzeczowski, Sarah Thompson, Katie Vollhaber, Emily Wiltsie and Imelda Wistey will see their careers in the cardinal and gold end in the coming weeks.
“It’s an emotional time for them – it’s kind of bittersweet. They are looking forward to their career coming to a close, but they are very sad that it is coming to a close,” Iowa State head swimming coach Duane Sorenson said. “I always steal a line from Bill Fennelly, ‘don’t cry because it’s over; cry because it happened.’”
While the 2013-14 senior class was an integral part of this year’s 0.682-winning percentage, the leadership from all classes is the reason for the team’s success, according to Krzeczowski.
“If the seven of us were to swim a meet, we wouldn’t win, but we have a lot of strong leadership within all four classes,” Krzeczowski said. “We definitely try to set a good example, but they push us in the pool as much as we push them.”
If there’s one thing these seniors have done, it’s set a good example, sharing a total of 13 top-10 performances in Iowa State school history. According to Sorenson, however, the group’s fun loving nature is what distinguishes them from the 16 other senior classes he has coached at Iowa State.
“They have a lot of fun; they really enjoy themselves,” Sorenson said. “The thing about this class is that they are very engaged. They are probably the first generation that really got into the Snapchat and the tweets, so they are very socially connected.”
Wistey, one of Iowa State’s top performers, joined the team her sophomore year after transferring from Grinnell College. The coaching staff and her teammates welcomed her and made her experience as a Cyclone memorable, according to the senior breaststroker.
“Duane and Kelly (Nordell) have been awesome – tough love for sure,” Wistey said. “The team has also been awesome. I definitely would not have been able to stick with this if it had not been for the many girls that have come and gone.”
Sorenson said he has watched his seven seniors grow up since their freshman year, and the end of their careers has snuck up on them like it does to every graduating class.
“It’s kind of surreal that we finally have completed our four years almost,” Vollhaber said. “It’ll just be fun to be able to celebrate what we have accomplished.”