Members of the Iowa City West swim team celebrate after winning the state title on Saturday during the 2015 Iowa boys state swim tournament in Marshalltown.
MARSHALLTOWN, Ia. – Seven event wins. Two state records. Back-to-back state champions.
That’s how the season concluded for the West High boys’ swimming team as it won the state championship for the second straight season Saturday in Marshalltown.
The Trojans won seven of the 11 events, including state records in the 200 medley relay to lead off the meet and in the 400 freestyle relay to close it. Aidan Keen won the 200 and 500 freestyle, and Mark McGlaughlin won the 50 and 100 freestyle. Will Scott was fourth in the 500 freestyle and Oliver Martin was fourth in the 100 butterfly.
“It’s all the preparation the guys did,” West coach Rob Miecznikowski said. “As a coaching staff, we’re just glad to help them along on their journey and help them along on their path of what they want to accomplish. Sometimes we had to make some tough decisions earlier in the year, giving up some meets and things like that for the bigger picture, but I think it was all worth it.”
West crushed the state record in the 400 free relay with a time of 3:02.98, which also qualified as an automatic All-American time. The previous record was 3:05.87.
McGlaughlin, Martin, Scott and Matt Anderson combined for the record-breaking swim.
“The 200 medley relay was the one that was going to be hard to crack, but this was our year for the 400 free record,” Miecznikowski said. “Having Matt Anderson as a senior for us, we knew this was the year we had to go after that. It was a little bit of a risk, but we took it and it paid off huge for all the guys.”
McGlaughlin added: “All the guys got super pumped for the meet, especially the relays. It was great. This is the best team I’ve been a part of, for sure.”
Alex Walton of Muscatine set a record in the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:49.20. The Missouri-bound swimmer also won the 100 backstroke.
Abe Eyman-Casey was the highlight for City High, placing fifth in the 100 backstroke. Cedar Rapids Washington’s Jared Thorson won the 100 butterfly, and Pleasant Valley’s Nick Staver won the 100 breaststroke.
Cedar Rapids Washington placed second in the team standings, and West Des Moines Valley was third.
But West stole the show — again.
The Trojans were the team to watch all season, and Saturday’s victory was a culmination of all they set out to finish.
There were bigger crowds than West’s at the Marshalltown YMCA, but the most thunderous applause was when Miecznikowski’s swimmers dived into the water and took sizable leads.
Even Miecznikowski jumped into the pool after the awards ceremony, along with the rest of the coaching staff.
Two years, two state titles.
“We went into the meet with a lot of confidence,” Scott said. “We went into this saying we’re going to have fun, we’re going to try to break some records, and besides that, we’re going to see what happens. We put our heads down and said we’re going to get it done. And we got it done.”