Newton swimmers preparing for challenge at districts
Last year, members of the Newton boys swim team went up to Marshalltown to support teammate Matt Thoma at the state swim meet.
Thoma was the lone Cardinal competitor in the large field, and the returning members to this year's team are hoping to change that this time around.
"We went up there and there's no seating. It's all standing room and it's just crazy," Newton senior Ryan Jolivette said. "They do an Olympic-style line with flags and Matt was the only one from Newton, so we're hoping to bring some more people this year."
Newton will control its own destiny concerning how many swimmers will take the trip to Marshalltown this year when it competes at districts tomorrow in Johnston. The team has been tapering the past week, but the process was somewhat interrupted when more snow rolled through town earlier in the week.
"The snow day didn't help," Newton coach Dave Hook said, "Some of the guys were able to make it in and some of them weren't. But for the mostpart, it's been going really well. These guys have gone through this before and know what to expect, so as far as knowing what's going on, this group is doing fine."
With a good number of seniors and experienced swimmers in general, the taper process is somewhat automatic. However, team members like freshman Austin Bunker who are going through it for the first time have needed a little extra guidance from his more experienced teammates. Bunker helped the Newton Y Penguins to a sixth-place finish at state last year, but knows he’s with the big fish now.
“It’s pretty much excitement and nerves working together,” Bunker said. “They’ve definitely been showing the ropes on how this all works. Without them, things probably would’ve been disastrous.”
Besides going through the taper, the team has spent the past week establishing its goals for this weekend. The 200-yard freestyle relay team is aiming for a school-record time of 1 minute, 32.58 seconds, knowing it will probably need to break that to reach state. Individually, senior Matheus Pinto also has his specific times set for events where he is heavily expected to push through to state.
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