CHARLES CITY — Newton/Colfax-Mingo/Pella’s Aquagirls dominated the waters at the Charles City High Invitational Saturday.
NCMP won every swimming event, and in most events, the Aquagirls went 1-2-3. The Aquagirls amassed 195 points with Charles City in second with 65 points and Vinton-Shellsburg scoring 45 points.
“This is our fourth or fifth year at this triangular. It is a way for the whole team to participate with unlimited entries. It’s the place to mix up the varsity lineup and try people in a variety of events, and also the place where our newer swimmers can try events like the 200 IM or 500 freestyle,” said Sarah Patterson, NCMP head coach.
“It’s still early in the season, so we struggled a little bit to get out fast and hit those first splits. We just need to develop the confidence and courage to hit it hard right from the start and rely on our training to bring back the back half of our races. This is something we’ll have to work on in practice.”
NCMP’s medley relay hit it hard from the beginning Saturday. The foursome of Samantha Hedrick, Sierra Griffith, Carly Colville and Sydney Jenkins “cracked” the 2-minute barrier. They won the race in 1 minute, 59.39 seconds. The Aquagirls’ quartet of Kaelee Knoll, Hannah Rhoads, Sarah Pendergast and Emily Miller was second.
Patterson pointed to Olivia Maharry on another NCMP medley relay team for her career-best time in her 50-yard breaststroke split. Patterson said Maharry has been pushing herself this season and it is paying off.
Though teams could enter as many competitors in each event as they want, only three swimmers could score points for teams.
In the 200-yard freestyle, NCMP swimmers took the top six spots, but only three counted. Rachel Prendergast won the race followed by Hanson and Elizabeth Myers. Abby Jolivette, Grace Perrin and Willa Colville touched in fourth, fifth and sixth.
“Kira Hanson had a great day with a personal-best swim in the 200 freestyle, and a solid 100 backstroke early-season time. She’s another one who had taken her training to the next level this year. That is fun to watch,” Patterson said. “Cassi Fitzgerald is a senior out for swimming for the first time. She competed in her first 200 freestyle and broke the 3-minute mark.”
Carly Colville won the 200-yard individual medley and the 500-yard freestyle. Jenkins finished second in the 200 individual medley race and claimed first in the 100-yard backstroke.
Patterson said seniors Emily Forsyth, Hannah Marston and Madeline Wellik, all posted personal-best times in the 200-yard individual medley. Freshmen Taylor Tremmel and Katherine Thorpe same the race for the first time.
NCMP’s Hannah Scotton, Sara Martin and Sarah Prendergast went 1-2-3 in the 50-yard freestyle. Martin, Myers and Rhoads did the same in the 100-yard butterfly.
“The 100 freestyle provided the best race of the day with Samantha Hedrick battling a very good Jessica Keifer from Charles City. Their splits were fairly even at the 50 turn, and then Samantha just turned it on in the 2nd half,” Patterson said. “Now, we need to get more confident to take out that first 50.”
Sarah Prendergast and Erin Van Sickle competed in the 500-yard race for the first time and did well, according to Coach Patterson. Prendergast placed third, improving her time by 10 seconds, and Van Sickle was sixth, but didn’t score points. Sophomore Morgan France dropped over 10 seconds off her 50-yard freestyle time and competed in the 100-yard freestyle for the first time.
The NCMP’s 200-yard freestyle relays placed 1-3-5, while the 400-yard freestyle relays were 1-2-3. Patterson said Rhoads, Jolivette, Hawkins, Ashley Jefferson, Kaitlyn Sorensen and Quiana Hamm turned in good split times for their respective relay races.
“Overall, Coach Forsyth and I were happy with the day. We always see good things as well as things we can improve on at every meet. We are proud of all the girls not only in the pool, but the way they cheered for each other,” Patterson said. “ The seniors did a great job of leading the pre-meet cheering and team talk. It’s fun to watch these young ladies take ownership of this group.”
NCMP travels to Grinnell Thursday to swim against Indianola and Grinnell at Grinnell College. Races being at 6 p.m.