City High and West High are in the midst of fierce training and are coming off a big meet Saturday at the Little Hawk Invitational. West High swimming coach Rob Miecznikowski juggled his lineup to give his swimmers a little variety, and City High coach Ivan Sanchez conducted a tough workout Monday and then another two Tuesday before the evening dual meet.
West won 138-47 at the Coralville Recreation Center, as expected, but the coaches got what they wanted out of the annual dual.
“I just don’t like swimming their main events three times in a week,” Miecznikowski said. “It’s kind of pointless, and they don’t enjoy doing it and I don’t think it helps them. Swimming ‘off’ events gives them a break a little bit.
“And every now and then I find an event. … Wow, Megan Buitendorp, we had her swimming outside lane in the backstroke and well, she’ll be doing backstroke this weekend at the meet. 1:07. That’s why I like to mix them up.”
“I think the team and the girls like it,” West junior Lilian Zhu said. “City’s a great team. Their girls are really fun to race, but it does give us a chance since they have such a small team to swim events we wouldn’t normally get to swim. It’s fun to do something new.”
The Women of Troy won all but one event. Zhu won two individual events, was part of a winning relay and was second in the 100 breaststroke. The finish of the meet had Zhu winning the 500 free, anchoring the 200 free relay, and with timeout for one event, finishing second in the 100 breast.
“I’ve heard that you’re more tired after shorter events because you have to go all out in such a short amount of time,” Zhu said. “Whereas the 500 gives you time to pace it all out. It wasn’t too bad.”
West sophomore Jacintha Thomas won the diving with a school record total (for six dives) of 253 points. On Saturday, she was second in a 12-diver field, edged out by West Des Moines Valley’s Ashlyn Clingman, who was fifth a year ago at state.
Thomas came to diving from gymnastics just a year ago. She was a gymnast for 10 years but a back injury encouraged her to try diving.
“The technique is a little different when you have to jump,” she said. “The board does a lot of the work for you unlike gymnastics where you have to throw your body a lot harder. But the twisting and flipping is basically the same.”
City High had 16 swimmers at the meet, which clearly makes winning these meets nearly impossible. But that’s not the point, Sanchez said.
“They felt some of that intensity training that we had (Monday),’ Sanchez said. “We had practice (Tuesday) morning also. We came here and we had a little workout.
“After today, I am 0-5. I am not the kind of coach who likes to focus on my personal record at dual meets. What I care about is at the end of the season all those girls swimming their best times and putting as many people as possible at the state meet.”
“With a small team, I don’t know, we’re really close and we just keep encouraging each other and just have a lot of fun even though the workouts are really hard,” City High sophomore Lizzie Brown said.
Brown won the 100 breaststroke over Zhu in 1:10.57. The difficult training no doubt had an impact on her time. She was second at the Little Hawk Relays to West’s Savannah Butler in a time of 1:08.39.
“That was a good race,” Sanchez said. “She’s not at 100 percent because it’s been a tough couple weeks with training.”
A week earlier, Brown broke the 11-year old school record in the event by one second.
“That was one of my goals for the season; it felt really good to finally get there,” Brown said. “Hopefully, I’ll just keep getting it lower this season.”
City’s Emma Baxter was second in the 100 butterfly, and Alix Sharp was second in the 50 free.
“Alix Sharp has done tremendous things,” Sanchez said.
“She’s a freshman who just turned 14 years old. She has a great future. The seniors have showed leadership, great swims. Today, we had some personal bests.”
West has a lot of swimmers out, but it’s a decidedly young team. Savannah Butler is the senior with four juniors, four sophomores and the rest are freshmen.
“It’s a good problem to have to be doing so well with such a young squad,” Miecznikowski said.
Other winners for West were Jasmine Roghair (200 free), Sarah Ritchie (200IIM), Alison Hsu (50 free), Erica Hsu (100 fly, 100 back) and Madie Miller (100 free).
WEST HIGH 138, CITY HIGH 47
200 medley relay – 1. West (Ariel Roghair, Savannah Butler, Lilian Zhu, Eveline Dowling) 1:58.23, 2. City (Claire Rowden, Lizzie Brown, Emma Baxter, Alix Sharp) 2:02.96, 3. West (Madie Miller, Meredithy Cullen, Natalie Shoultz, Alison Hsu) 2:06.17, 4. City (Katie Knudtson, Annie Hartley, Molly Hayes, Randi Pitzen) 2:19.60.
200 freestyle – 1. Jasmine Roghair (W) 2:02.08, 2. Savannah Butler (W0 2:04.07, 3. Eveline Dowling (W) 2:14.59, 4. Alayna McCafferty (C) 2:21.77, 5. Naftalia Flatte 2:23.11.
200 individual medley – 1. Sarah Ritchie (W) 2:22.67, 2. Natalie Shoultz (W) 2:23.38, 3. Claire Rowden (C) 2:34.91, 4. Morgan Brunk (W) 2:35.64, 5. Randi Pitzen (C) 2:50.80, 6. Katie Knudtson (C) 2:53.53.
50 freestyle – 1. Alison Hsu (W) 27.37, 2. Alix Sharp (C) 27.72, 3. Tory rose (W) 27.98, 4. Lizzie Brown (C) 28.78, 5. Emily Culver (W) 28.80, 6. Annie Hartley (C) 30.05.
Diving – 1. Jacintha Thomas (W) 253, 2. Alex Aaberg (W) 205.90, 3. Julia Goldberg (C) 155.55, 4. Darra Stuart (W) 117.50.
100 butterfly – 1. Erica Hsu (W) 1:05.70, 2. Emma Baxter (C) 1:09.09, 3. Sophie Shoultz (W) 1:09.21, 4. Megan Buitendorp (W) 1:11.67, 5. Bella Larson (C) 1;23.34, 6. Emma Greenberg (C) 1:24.34.
100 freestyle – 1. Madie Miller (W) 58.88, 2. Natalie Shoultz (W) 59.32, 3. Jacqueline Dowling (W) 1:00.99, 4. Alix Sharp (C) 1:01.63, 5. Alayna McCafferty (C 1:04.76, 6. Tegan Harty (C) 1:10.84.
500 freestyle – 1. Lilian Zhu (W) 5:28.55, 2. Sarah Ritchie (W) 5:42.03, 3. Alison Hsu (W) 5:52.31, 4. Claire Rowden (C) 6:20.80, 5. Molly Hayes (C) 6:33.42, 6. Laura Hoff (C) 6:40.43.
200 freestyle relay – 1. West (Eveline Dowling, Savannah Butler, Ariel Roghair, Lilian Zhu) 1:47.05, 2. West (Sophie Shoultz, Tory Rose, Emily Culver, Natalie Shoultz) 1:50.92, 3. City (Alix Sharp, Lizzie Brown, Alayna McCafferty, Emma Baxter) 1:52.53, 4. City (Naftalia Flatte, Bella Larson, Annie Hartley, Tegan Harty) 2:05.27.
100 backstroke – 1. Erica Hsu (W) 1;06.06, 2. Madie Miller (W) 1:08.46, 3. Morgan Brunk (W) 1:12.48, 4. Naftalia Flatte (C) 1:15.86, 5. Randi Pitzen (C) 1:21.52, 6. Katie Knudtson (C) 1:22.03.
100 breaststroke – 1. Lizzie Brown (C) 1:10.57, 2. Lilian Zhu (W) 1:15.42, 3. Meredith Cullen (W) 1:21.46, 4. Annie Hartley (C) 1:21.61, 5. Molly Hayes (C) 1:22.06, 6. Jacqueline Dowling (W) 1:22.26.
400 freestyle relay – 1. West (Sophie Shoultz, Savannah Butler, Erica Hsu, Jasmine Roghair) 3:54.20, 2. West (Sarah Ritchie, Madie Miller, Alison Hsu, Ariel Roghair) 4:06.37, 3. City (Claire Rowden, Emma Baxter, Alayna McCafferty, Molly Hayes) 4:18.27, 4. City (Randi Pitzen, Tegan Harty, Katie Knudtson, Naftalia Flatte) 4:36.74.