DES MOINES — The Newton swim team has been looking for some tougher competition as its season begans to wind down, and it certainly found some Tuesday night.
Although they fell 115-55 to Des Moines Roosevelt, the Cardinals won multiple events and recorded a few season-best times, while changing up some of the race lineups in the process.
“I thought we did well. We knew Roosevelt is a good team and we mixed up the lineups a little bit tonight just to kind of give the kids a break,” Newton coach Dave Hook said. “I was pleased with the times and their efforts were good, so that’s all I can ask for.”
Walking into the Clark Munger Natatorium, which is located inside Roosevelt’s school, it was obvious the Roughriders were packing some power. They claimed a number of the night’s first events, but the Cardinals scored their first victory by way of senior Matheus Pinto in the 200-yard free style with a time of 1 minute, 55.39 seconds.
Newton was able to keep pace for a while with second-place finishes by the 200 medley relay team of Pinto, senior Luke Norcross, sophomore Brandon Miller and freshman Austin Bunker in a time of 1:49.24 and Norcross in the 50 free with a time of 23.89. Bunker also grabbed a personal best time and third place in the 100 butterfly with a time of 59.71 to wrap up the night’s first 10 events.
“We were obviously a little slower than what we swam at Fort Dodge,” Hook said. “But we’ve been training hard and the kids are a little tired, which is fine because we knew it would happen. They’ll be fine.”
Norcross kept his strong night going with a first-place finish in the 100 free with a time of 53.61, then took second in the 200 free relay along with Pinto, Bunker and senior Ryan Jolivette. The Cardinals then got a little boost in the point standings with a 1-3 finish in the 100 backstroke as Pinto won with a time of 57.60 and Daniel Maurer was third in 1:03.76.
With that victory, Pinto continued his impressive stretch of being undefeated in dual meet swims this season.
In one of the more contested races of the night, Newton senior Cody Maxwell caught up to Roosevelt’s Logan Sink in the final leg to finish second with a time of 1:11.18 — just .18 seconds ahead of sink. To wrap up the night, the 400 free relay team of Jolivette, Miller, Josh Smith and Jeff Fitzgerald took third with a time of 3:51.41.
“Cody coming back and stretching out that guy for second was kind of neat,” Hook said.
The Cardinals will now begin their home stretch with Senior Night at the Newton Y Thursday. From there, they will participate in the Little Hawkeye Conference meet in Grinnell on Jan. 26 and then will move to districts on Feb. 9.
“Roosevelt was a good team, and Boone’s going to be a good team, so we’ll have to really get after it Thursday,” Hook said. “It’s Senior Night and the guys should be pumped up and ready to go, so we’ll just see what happens.”