Relays lead Missouri women's swimmers to victory over Iowa State

Saturday, January 22, 2011 | 7:25 p.m. CST; updated 1:58 a.m. CST, Sunday, January 23, 2011
Freshman Loren Figueroa leaps from the diving board Saturday during the Tigers' victory against Iowa State at the Mizzou Rec Center.

COLUMBIA — Led by a dominant performance in the relay events, the Missouri women's swimming team beat Iowa State 200-98 on Saturday at the MU Student Recreation Complex pool.

The Tigers took the top three spots in the 200-yard medley relay and the top two spots in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

“It's nice to see them take pride in their relays because relays are a really strong sign of team strength,” Missouri coach Greg Rhodenbaugh said.

In the medley, Missouri's A team won the event in 1 minute, 44.08 seconds. The B team finished second in 1:45.19, and the C team finished third in 1:46.2, more than two seconds faster than Iowa State's A team.

Sophomore Cassie Cunningham, junior Lisa Nathanson, senior Morgan McCleery and freshman Alexis Spivak make up Missouri's top team.

Rhodenbaugh "talks a lot about relays, and he tells us that to be on one is an honor, and that we should swim like we’re swimming for the entire team, and not just for ourselves," Cunningham said. "I think we take a lot of pride in that.”

To close out the victory, the Missouri A team won the freestyle relay in 3:29.23. The B team finished just ahead of the Iowa State A team in 3:37.34.

"We know how important relays are," Nathanson added. "We also have a lot of competition on our team for those relay spots, so that gets us going too."

Nathanson and Cunningham are also members of the A team in the freestyle relay. The other two members are junior Stephanie Rovig and sophomore Sydney Schaefer.

The meet began with a two-team relay by Special Olympians.

“Starting off the meet, it was helpful that we were able to watch and support the Special Olympics teams," Nathanson said. "That got us going, and it's really important to start the meet off on the right foot with that relay.”

The relay included Larry Stephen, a member of the Special Olympics Missouri Hall of Fame, and Leanna Krogmann, a member of the 2011 U.S. National Special Olympic team.

The women will honor their seniors at their next meet, Feb. 4 against Drury University.

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