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Local Sports

Aquagirls take third at Valley Invitational

WEST DES MOINES — Setting goals and reaching those goals are part of competition.

“Our team goal going into Saturday’s meet was to place third. We did that,” said Sarah Patterson, head coach, after the NCMP Aquagirls competed in the West Des Moines Valley High Invitational swim meet.

“Almost everyone on the team scored points, and there were many good swims by our girls. Some of the top relays and swimmers in the state were at at this meet, so it provided good competition.”

Waukee edged out host Valley for first place, 514 points to 512. Newton/Colfax-Mingo/Pella scored 330 points for third place. Lewis Central was fourth with 266, followed by Sioux City Metro with 188 points and Cedar Rapids Washington with 75.

“Overall, it was a good meet for the middle of the season.  We take on Marshalltown Monday night,” Patterson said. “Then we head to Ankeny Thursday, where I told the girls, we had better pack our bags with every intangible they can think of because it’s going to take a team effort to take down the Aquahawks.”

Tonight, the Aquagirls swim against Marshalltown starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Newton YMCA.

At the Valley Invitational, Sydney Jenkins, Sierra Griffith, Hannah Scotton and Sara Martin combined for third place in the medley relay race, making the podium for medals. The NCMP B relay was seventh with the foursome of Rachel Prendergast, Hannah Rhoads, Emily Miller and Emily Forsyth.

That gave the Aquagirls a solid start in the meet.

The 100-yard butterfly was NCMP’s strongest race, according to Patterson.

Samantha Hedrick paced the Aquagirls in the race, winning it just ahead of teammate Scotton. Carly Colville placed fifth. Patterson said freshman Emily Miller dropped two seconds off her seed-time in the 100-yard butterfly.

Jenkins captured the second-place medal in the 100-yard backstroke.

“The winner of the event was initially disqualified for staying under too long on her streamline, but then the official reversed his decision after the coach from Lewis Central complained,” Patterson said. “We all thought it was a clear case of violating the rules, but the official’s decision was final.  At any rate, this was Sydney’s season-best swim, and she looked strong.”

Martin climbed on the podium by placing third in the 100-yard breaststroke. She was joined by Griffith in fifth place. Patterson said it is great to have multiple girls on the awards stand in the same event. Miller, again, turned in a best time in an event, placing 10th in the breaststroke.

Carly Colville stepped on the podium for fifth place in the 200-yard freestyle. Sarah Prendergast posted a personal-best time of 2 minutes, 11.97 seconds and placed 12th.  In the individual medley, Martin was fourth followed by Rhoads and Sierra Griffith in eighth and 13th, respectively. Abby Jolivette dropped two seconds and won her individual medley heat to place 15th, earning team points.

“Sarah Prendergast led the way for NCMP in the 500 placing ninth with a season-best 5:55.02,” Patterson said. “She keeps dropping a little more time every time she swims the event.  I’m enjoying watching her get out after this race and want to own it.”

The 400-yard freestyle relay ended the meet. The relay team of Rachel Prendergast, Carly Colville, Jenkins and Herick claimed fourth-place medals. The B relay team of Sarah Prendergast, Kira Hanson, Elizabeth Myers and Rhoads placed ninth.

“We didn’t back down from the last event, in which multiple girls had season-best splits,” Patterson said. “First of all, I want to  mention the split and mental toughness of Rachel Prendergast.  She made some stroke adjustments from her individual 100 freestyle, and dropped almost two seconds on her relay split.  I could coach this girl all day long. 

“Her relay placed fourth behind three of the fastest relays in the state right now. Our B relay team turned in a time of 4:05.44. This is a very fast time for a B relay. Hannah Rhoads went a 59.5 split, dropping under that magic-minute mark.  She is a very hard worker, and this is a result of that work ethic and tenacity.”

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