Ready to hit the water with strength and speed are the 2013 NCMP Aquagirls. Newton-Colfax-Mingo-Pella’s swim team open the 2013 high school girls’ swimming season at home Tuesday at the Newton YMCA.
The Aquagirls host Linn-Mar High’s Lions of Marion in a dual meet. Races begin at 5:30 p.m. at the YMCA pool.
By all accounts, last year’s opener at Linn-Mar was a roof-raiser. NCMP head coach Sarah Patterson said the meet was decided on the final race of the meet — the 400-yard freestyle relay. The Aquagirls had a slim points lead over the Lions going into the event. NCMP won the race and the meet.
“I just talked to a parent at the football game on Friday night and he said that if it is as loud Tuesday night at the Y as it was last year when we opened at Linn-Mar, the noise will be deafening. I agree, and I think this meet will be a great match-up,” Patterson said.
“Our varsity swimmers beat Linn-Mar by four points last year, while our JV narrowly lost. This year we want to win both varsity and JV, and we want to start strong right out of the gate by winning the medley relays (the first event). Our season goal is to be undefeated in dual meet competition, so our goal is on the line starting Tuesday night.”
The Aquagirls are well equipped to do that with five state qualifiers among its 30 returning swimmers. Senior Carly Colville, juniors Hannah Scotton and Rachel Prendergast and sophomores Samantha Hedrick and Sydney Jenkins are back in the pool for NCMP. The five qualified in five events at the state swim meet last year.
Scotton is a two-time state qualifier and holds the NCMP record in the 100-yard butterfly race. She was the lone NCMP state medal winner, claiming fifth the 100-yard butterfly. Scotton won the event at the district meet plus was on the third-place 200-yard freestyle relay team for the Aquagirls, which went to state.
Hedrick was the district champion in the 100-yard freestyle and placed second in the 50-yard freestyle race. She also went to state as a member of the 200-yard freestyle and 400-yard freestyle relay teams.
Colville competed in four events at the state meet. At district she was third in the 100-yard butterfly and in the 200-yard freestyle individual races. She was on NCMP’s two relay teams also.
Prendergast and Jenkins qualified for state on the 400-yard freestyle relay, which was second at district. Prendergast also was on the 200-yard freestyle relay team.
Patterson pointed out all five swimmers are team record holders in either individual or relay events.
“Our team has depth, which is great for the dual meet format. There are so many girls on our team who can swim multiple events very well. This is a positive challenge to have as I create lineups; it’s almost like putting together a very complicated puzzle. They have some very strong freestyle swimmers and a good deal of depth as well, so like I said, this will be a fun match up,” Patterson said.
Patterson is in her 20th season as head coach for NCMP. Her assistant coach is Chris Forsyth. Patterson said the coaches are excited about the way the girls have been working in practices.
“We have been training hard to compete, to race, and to battle until the last relay. I can’t wait to see the girls in action on Tuesday,” Patterson said. “ Anybody who wants to see a team fired up for a victory should come to the YMCA on Tuesday night to see the Aquagirls kick off their season.”