Cruel Pool: Lady Tigers place 11th at State meet on Saturday

Ali Miller/Sports Editor

Head women’s swimming coach Dick Marcussen has had more state champion titles than years most of us have been alive, but that was not the case this weekend.

Ames pulled through stronger than ever, and after just the first event, led the meet with 71 points — 21 points ahead of Johnston with 50 after the 200 Medley Relay came to a finish.
Juniors Kelsey Abbas and Abbie Anderson, sophomore Aftin Phyfe, and freshman Catherine Sell capped the first event with 23 points, putting CF in 11th place.

Abbas came next with the 200 Individual Medley. She finished with a time of 2:14.45, gaining seven points for the Tigers. Abbas’ biggest competition of this race was junior Allison Orvis of Decorah, who finished with a time of 2:05.32, and senior Ali Stearns of Mason City, who brought in a 2:10.30. “That was pretty good. There were parts that could’ve been a little faster, but overall it was a good race.”

Up next was Anderson in event six, the 100 Butterfly. Anderson went up against club swimming friend and competitor, freshman Taylor Pherigo of Waterloo West, who swam a 1:01.83. Anderson went a 1:02.27, just barely missing Pherigo. At Districts last week, Anderson and Pherigo had a dual in the pool during this same event, and they tied with a time of 1:01.77, so this race was crucial for both teams at State.

Phyfe brought the heat next in the 100 Free. Only being a sophomore, Phyfe placed ninth overall, with a time of 54.77. With Ames being the powerhouse and taking the State title in the bag, Phyfe beat freshman Hannah Newell, who went a 54.85, bringing the total Tigers points to 4 at the halfway mark of the meet.

Junior Alesha Rettenmeier qualified for State with a Districts time of 5:22.64 in the 500 Free. Rettenmeier swam a 5:24.25 on Saturday, pacing 11th. Rettenmeier went head to head with freshman Mcenna Pierce from Indianola, who was placed 25th at this point. Pierce barely got her with a 5:24.02.

Relays are the big events in swim meets, the events that add the most points to the team total. Phyfe, Sell, senior Kyrie Dailey and Anderson placed 13th with a time of 1:42.89. Still in 12th place, Cedar Falls had a team power points total of 56.

The 100 Backstroke has carried through as a strong event for Cedar Falls throughout the entire season. With three girls pulling through to Marshalltown with qualifying times for State, this was sure to be the case again. Juniors Katie Mason, Abbas and senior Dailey raked the points in. Mason placed 21st with a time of 1:03.70, right behind Dailey who placed 16th with a time of 1:02.42. Abbas shined during her star event once again. Placing third touching the wall immediately after Dubuque Hempstead junior Clare Slagle, Abbas swam 58.23, dropping her Districts time by .49 of a second. These three girls took one for the team bringing Cedar Falls to a team standing of 10th place with 72 points. “I don’t feel very good about it. It wasn’t up to par,” Abbas said.

Catherine Sell competed in the 100 Breastroke. Sell swam a 1:12.25 with a 22nd place finish. Sell added .5 seconds to her race time from Districts last weekend but had a good race overall. “We had a lot of inexperienced swimmers down there, and that was tough,” coach Marcussen said.

The 400 Free Relay consisted of Phyfe being the first one off the starting block, giving the Tigers a pretty steady lead. Dailey followed, and Anderson trailed right behind her with Abbas anchoring. The total time was a 3:42.76, the ladies trimming off 1.2 seconds of their districts time.

The lady Tiger swimmers and divers brought home an 11th place finish with 90 points. Ames didn’t let anyone come close to their well-deserved State title, winning the meet with a total of 293 points, and West Des Moines Valley coming in at a not-so-close second place with 213 points.

“I think we swam hard, but I expected a little more out of them. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. I don’t feel our taper really took hold, so I’ll have to analyze it, I guess. Do better next year,” Marcussen said.

Class of 2014

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