The goal for the Marshalltown swim team at the Iowa Girls High School State Swimming Championships on Saturday was to be better than its seeds and to appear on the final point standings.
Both of those goals became reality at the Marshalltown YMCA as junior Chloe Kuehner scored a 13-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke, and both relay teams featured personal-best times on the season.
"We had a good day, we moved up a little bit and had personal-best times," MHS coach Angie Nelson said. "There was some fast swimming out there today. It was a great meet,"
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
MHS junior Chloe Kuehner scored a 13th-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke at the Iowa Girls High School State Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday at the Marshalltown YMCA. Kuehner also swam on the Bobcats’ 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay.
Six state records were set on the day, and the Ames Little Cyclones won their third straight state championship, holding off a feisty Pleasant Valley squad with an impressive final four races.
Ames' only champion came in the 100 backstroke, but the Little Cyclones' depth was better than Pleasant Valley in the end. The Spartans had the top coach in first-year head man Jay Smith and also the top swimmer in Gabby Stecker, but the Little Cyclones had the last laugh with a 274-224 victory.
West Des Moines Valley was third with 192 points followed by Dowling Catholic's 180.5 and Cedar Falls' 165. Marshalltown earned four points for Kuehner's 13th place finish and ended up in 30th on the scoreboard.
Iowa State Swimming and
Team Standings - 1. Ames 274, 2. Pleasant Valley 224, 3. West Des Moines Valley 192, 4. Dowling Catholic 180.5, 5. Cedar Falls 165, 6. Johnston 148, 7. Mason City 116, 8. Dubuque Senior 113, 9. Bettendorf 111, 10. Iowa City West 106, 11. Waukee 97, 12. Council Bluffs Lewis Central 82, 13. Des Moines North 77, 14. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 60, 15. Linn-Mar 45, 15. Ankeny 45, 17. Newton/Colfx-Mingo/Pella 43, 18. Sioux City Metro 37, 18. Southeast Polk 37, 20. Spencer/Spirit Lake 33, 21. Des Moines Roosevelt 27, 22. Cedar Rapids Washington 24, 23. Muscatine 17.5, 24. Des Moines Lincoln 17, 25. Iowa City High 15, 26. Davenport Central 9, 27. Keokuk 6, 27. Dubuque Wahlert 6, 29. Des Moines Hoover 5, 30. Marshalltown 4, 30. Grinnell 4, 32. Decorah 2, 32. Fairfield 2, 34. Boone 1.
(Top 4 plus Marshalltown)
1-Meter Diving - 1. Maggie James, Ames, 512.80; 2. Julie Dickinson, West Des Moines Valley, 464.65; 3. Morgan Rafferty, West Des Moines Valley, 443.15; 4. Jacintha Thomas, Iowa City West, 439.60.
200 medley relay - 1. Dowling Catholic 1:47.44, 2. Ames 1:47.83, 3. Bettendorf 1:48.38, 4. Cedar Falls 1:49.50, 20. Marshalltown (Kuehner, Hannam, Kuhlman, Barkema) 1:55.39.
200 freestlye - 1. Gabbie Stecker, Pleasant Valley, 1:49.64; 2. McKenna Lynch, Dowling Catholic, 1:52.32; 3. Allyssa Fluit, Southeast Polk, 1:53.50; 4. Evan Hundley, Pleasant Valley, 1:53.68.
200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY - 1. Emma Sougstad, Mason City, 2:00.33; 2. Katharine Ross, Des Moines North, 2:03.47; 3. Nicole Oppel, Pleasant Valley, 2:08.82; 4. Sara Bentley, Ames, 2:08.84.
50 freestyle - 1. Maddie Gehrke, Waukee, 23.34; 2. Maddy Burnham, Bettendorf, 23.72; 3. Taylor Sieperda, Spencer/Spirit Lake, 23.92; 4. Molly Lambezede, Dubuque Senior, 23.93.
100 butterfly - 1. Emma Sougstad, Mason City, 55.25; 2. Maddy Burnham, Bettendorf, 56.06; 3. Maddie Gehrke, 56.24; 4. Nicole Oppel, Pleasant Valley, 58.00.
100 freestyle - Aftin Phyfe, Cedar Falls, 51.54; 2. Molly Lambezede, Dubuque Senior, 51.85; 3. Taylor Flummerfelt, Ames. 52.50; 4. McKenna Lynch, Dowling Catholic, 52.61.
500 freestyle - 1. Gabbie Stecker, Pleasant Valley, 4:52.91; 2. Brittany Moffat, Cedar Falls, 5:05.04; 3. Allyssa Fluitt, Southeast Poilk, 5:05.12; 4. Evan Hundley, Pleasant Valley, 5:11.71.
200 freestyle relay - 1. Pleasant Valley 1:36.15, 2. Bettendorf 1:36.77; 3. Ames 1:36.93, 4. Dubuque Senior 1:37.25.
100 backstroke - 1. Sara Bentley, Ames, 56.89; 2. Taylor Sieperda, Spencer/Spirit Lake, 57.80; 3. Victoria Trost, Johnston, 58.20; 4. Kaitlin Wistey, West Des Moines Valley, 58.36.
100 breaststroke - 1. Katharine Ross, Des Moines North, 1:01.18; 2. Savannah Butler, Iowa City West, 1:04.97; 3. Moriah Ross, Des Moines North, 1:05.30; 4. Lizzie Brown, Iowa City High, 1:06.38; 13. Chloe Kuehner, Marshalltown, 1:09.83; 20. Raechel Hannam, Marshalltown, 1:11.20.
400 freestyle relay - 1. Pleasant Valley 3:31.31, 2. Ames 3:33.71, 3. Cedar Falls 3:34.29, 4. Mason City 3:36.09; 21. Marshalltown (Lillibridge, Barkema, Kuhlman, Kuehner) 3:49.57.
"We dropped time and had our best splits of the year," Kuehner said after the 200 medley relay. "That should give us momentum going into those last two races. It should give us the confidence to know we can do it."
The 200 medley relay included Kuehner, Raechel Hannam, Therese Kuhlman and Leah Barkema and that foursome finished in 1 minute, 55.39 seconds and grabbed 20th overall. They entered the meet with the 22nd best time and had a seed time of 1:56.08.
"I got past the first-year nerves that I use to experience," Barkema said. "Now it is just third-year excitement. We did really well and stayed focused all day."
The Bobcats were forced to stay focused throughout the entire meet because they participated in the very first event and the very last event.
The 400 freestyle relay included Hayley Lillibridge, Barkema, Kuhlman and Kuehner, and the Bobcats claimed a 21st-place finish. Their seed time was 3:52.92, but they bested that at state by more than 3 seconds, hitting the wall in 3:49.57.
"I think we did really well, it was a good day," said Kuhlman, a three-time state qualifier. "I was definitely more comfortable today. You are kind of in awe when you first swim here, but today we came here ready to compete and ready to swim."
Just before the 400 freestyle relay, Kuehner and Hannam competed in the 100 breaststroke. And Hannam backed up Kuehner's strong finish with another solid performance as she moved up from the 24th seed to finish 20th overall. She hit the wall in 1:11.20
"It felt amazing," Hannam said. "I was happy just to be able to compete here my freshman year. I thought we did well today."
The best news for the Bobcats may be that everyone who competed at the state meet Saturday will be back in the pool for Marshalltown next season.
Kuehner, Kuhlman, Barkema and Lillibridge are all juniors, while Hannam is just a freshman. Even alternates Maggie Carnahan (sophomore) and Melisa Fonseca (junior) return next season.
"There is a good opportunity for this group to be really good next year," Nelson said. "We need to start setting our goals a little higher, work a little harder in the offseason and hopefully come back hungrier than they have ever been."