Swimmers sweep Super Meet, look on to State

Ben Olson/Sports Editor

At the MVC Super Meet on Saturday, Oct. 17, the Tiger swim team literally swam away with the title, surprising for a relatively miniscule meet in the overall scheme of the season. The Tigers beat runner-up team Cedar Rapids Kennedy by a wide margin of 122 points.

“Of course I was surprised,” head coach Dick Marcussen said. “Our goal was to just have everyone swim their best and as a team and to place ahead of everyone. We had some good swims and some so-so ones. No one’s tapered yet, so we needed the team commitment to win the meet.”
Senior standout Bailey Pons noted that it took extra drive to sweep the conference competition.

“I was definitely surprised. We’ve been working hard, and even though we’re broken down, we had enough focus to pull it together,” Pons said.
Pons swept the 200 free in a time of 1 minute, 54.29 seconds, the 500 free in 5 minutes, 6.17 seconds and was a member of two winning relay teams – the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.

Sophomore standout Kelsey Abbas also won four events: the 100 back in 1 minute 0.31 seconds, the 100 freestyle in 55.02 seconds and the 200 and 400 free relays.

Sophomore Montana Clasby also won the 100 breaststroke in 1 minute 8.95 seconds.

Overall, the Tigers won seven out of 11 total races throughout the day, resulting in their clear-cut victory.

With 13 teams competing at the conference championships, the ladies had to stay focused during a waiting game to come out on top.

“The team had to persevere through a long meet, and it did drag on. They had to keep their energy levels up, and we as coaches kept an eye on that,” Marcussen said.

The meet turned out to be a positive indicator and boost for the team as they head towards the state championships on Nov. 7.

“It’s not only a confidence booster but a measuring stick of how well we’ll do against the teams in our conference there,” Pons said.

The coaches will still have to make some fine-tuned preparations for the regional meet coming up on Oct. 31.

“The difference between this conference meet and regionals is that most of the kids will be swimming their strong events. Here, we had some girls swim their off-events so we could take advantage of other teams. At regionals, we will be more specific and come up with the best formula for state,” Marcussen said.

Pons noted that focus will play a key role in success at State.

“We need to stay focused on our goals and on the little things, like technique. The deciding factor at State will be those small things,” Pons said.
Marcussen has high expectations for his team at State as well.

“We need more than eight swimmers to go down, and we need to be strong in diving as well,” Marcussen said. “We have to persevere against obstacles, and everyone has to do the best they can. You can’t go down there thinking ‘what if.’” The Tigers are currently ranked third statewide behind Mason City and Bettendorf.

Class of 2014

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