What a night for the Aquagirls.
Hosting 12th-ranked Ankeny Thursday night at the Newton Y, the No. 13 Newton-Colfax-Mingo-Pella swim team would've been happy just defeating the Hawkettes by any margin.
The night went better than the Aquagirls and their fans could have hoped.
Not only did NCMP beat Ankeny, but comfortably at 95-75, and in grand fashion by setting four school records along the way. The win moves the team to a perfect 8-0 in dual meets.
"Coming into this meet we were all really nervous, but all pumped," said junior Carly Colville, who was part of three school record swims. "We wanted it so bad. For weeks we've been saying we could do it — that we could beat Ankeny. We've been thinking about what we could do to become a better team, and it showed in the pool tonight."
Colville broke her own record in the 200-meter freestyle — which she set as a freshman in 2010. After that, she anchored the team's 200 freestyle relay and led off the 400 freestyle relay — both which set new all-time marks. Freshman Samantha Hedrick had an equally impressive night, setting a record in the 100 freestyle and then leading off and anchoring the same two relays as Colville.
Overall, the Aquagirls won six of the 12 events, took second in five and third in eight.
The meet got off to an inauspicious start for NCMP. It unexpectedly won the 200 medley relay, but was disqualified as the official rules that sophomore anchor Sara Martin left the block just a hair early.
"We told her (Martin), if you're not false-starting at least once this season, you're not trying," Aquagirls assistant coach Chris Forsyth said.
While Patterson said she wasn't expecting to win the event, the disqualification did allow Ankeny to take an early 8-6 lead. The NCMP foursome of sisters Sidney and Sierra Griffith, freshman Liz Myers and sophomore Jeannie Etnyre still managed to take second in 2 minutes, 18.57 seconds and the "C" team took third.
"When we won that medley relay, it was unbelievable because we were trying to take second and third," Patterson said. "When we were disqualified, I could feel our mood lower a bit. But then they bounced right back. They were not going to take no for an answer."
The Aquagirls bounced back in a big way in the next event, as Colville took first in the 200 freestyle in 2:15.11 — breaking her own school record of 2:15.37 she set as a freshman in 2010. Sophomore Rachel Prendergast took second in 2:20.42 and junior Emily Forsyth took fourth to give NCMP an 18-13 lead after two events.
But the Hawkettes struck back right after, going 1-2 in the 200 individual medley to move back in front by a point at 24-23. That would be their last lead of the night. Hedrick and sophomore Hannah Scotton put the Aquagirls in front for good at 32-31 by taking first and third in the 50 freestyle in 28.38 and 29.52 seconds.
"We talk a lot about pressure situations. One of our mottos is 'Race like a train, train like a race,'" Patterson said. "We're working on those kinds of things every day. We were definitely gunning tonight."
NCMP stretched it to a nine-point advantage after the 100 butterfly, in which Scotton won in 1:08.34 — just .01 off a school record. Colville was the runner-up in 1:10.55.
The 100 freestyle was next, where Hedrick picked up her individual record by winning in 1:00.31. That broke a nine-year-old mark of 1:00.63 set by Emily Bensink in 2003.
"We've barely tapped her potential, and that's exciting," Patterson said of Hedrick. "Emily Benson was a force to be reckoned with. To break one of her records is a huge milestone."
"I'm really proud of her," added Colville. "In a way, she reminds me of my sister (2011 graduate Ellen), coming in as a freshman and breaking all those records. She's doing a fabulous job and she's a great addition to the team."
Prendergast took third in the event to help the Aquagirls open up a 55-39 lead. Ankeny closed to within 10 points by taking first and third in the 400 freestyle while NCMP junior Emily Forsyth took second in 5:20.59.
Next was the 200 freestyle relay, where NCMP got its third record of the night as the foursome of Hedrick, Prendergast, Scotton and Colville won in 1:55.49. Its "B" team also took third.
Jenkins and Sidney Griffith took second and third for the Aquagirls in the 100 breaststroke in 1:13.30 and 1:16.86 and Sierra Griffith took third in the 100 breaststroke in 1:24.94, while Ankeny won both events. That made the score 85-71 in favor of NCMP entering the final event.
The Aquagirls ended the night with another record, this time in the 400 freestyle relay. The squad of Colville, Prendergast, Jenkins and Hedrick won it in 4:12.73, breaking the 2007 mark of 4:13.58 set by Rachel Clark, Michelle Rabedeux, Samantha Griffith and Caitlyn Meyer. NCMP's "B" team took third.
"The school records were unexpected. They really were," Patterson said. "The team wants it so much together. That's what's been so much fun about this season."
The Aquagirls' next competition is a dual at Boone on Oct. 4. A win would give NCMP nine on the season, which is believed to be the school record. It should have no problem getting it as the Toreadors are ranked 37th. After that, the Aquagirls have a huge showdown with fifth-ranked Des Moines Dowling Catholic for Senior Night at the Newton Y on Oct. 9.