ANKENY — Mental toughness. Tenacity. Intensity.
Three aspects of competition which Newton/Colfax-Mingo/Pella’s Aquagirls pursue each time they are in the pool — in a practice or in a meet.
“I’ve been preaching about mental toughnes, tenactiy and intensity all season. As couple of weeks ago, I was a little worried about the ability of this group to come together and fight, but they showed me they have the stuff,” said Sarah Patterson, NCMP head coach, following the Aquagirls’ 90-80 win in varsity swimming action against Ankeny Thursday night.
The win was in a close battle in Ankeny’s home pool. The hosts had the lead early in the meet. In the 50-yard freestyle race, Samantha Hedrick and Hannah Scotton finished first and second, respectively, to tie the score at 31-31.
“The event that broke it wide open for us was the 100 freestyle where we were able to go 1-2-3 with the trio of Samantha, Rachel Prendergast, and Sydney Jenkins. Those three lit up the pool and the momentum swung in our direction,” Patterson said. “We fought, and clawed, and scrapped until the last event was over and the results were in our favor.”
It came down to the last relay. Patterson said if Ankeny had gone 1-3 in the 400-yard freestyle relays, NCMP would have lost.
“Our girls stepped up to the plate in a huge way. Our team of Carly Colville, Rachel Prendergast, Sydney Jenkins, and Samantha Hedrick won the event with a five second time drop from this season’s best and beat Ankeny’s A relay by five seconds,” Patterson said.
The B team foursome of Elizabeth Myers, Sarah Prendergast, Emily Miller, and Sara Martin posted a time of 3:59.21, meaning the average split was under 1:00. Patterson said the team has never, ever had this fast of a B relay.
In addition, the Aquagirl C relay of Emily Forsyth, Abby Jolivette, Grace Perrin, and Kira Hanson beat Ankeny’s C relay.
NCMP opened the meet with Jenkins, Hannah Rhoads, Hannah Scotton and Hedrick posting a second-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay, beating their time from last year’s regional, and a second off the team record.
Patterson said other noteworthy splits on the medleys were Emily Forsyth, who swam a season-best 27.93 freestyle leg on the B, and Paige Reed, who swam a 29.30 freestyle leg on the C relay.
Senior Carly Colville dominated the 200-yard freestyle, winning the event in 2 minutes, 3.37 seconds. Sophomore Elizabeth Myers had a season-best time of 2:11.68 for fourth. Depth showed in the 200-yard individual medley race with personal-best times by Sara Martin for second, Rhoads for third and Sierra Griffith in fifth.
Scotton and Carly Colville placed second and third in the 100-yard butterfly, and Emily Miller, a freshman, was fifth in a personal-best time of 1:09.12. The Aquagirls had a new foursome swimming the 200-yard freestyle relay, and won in a tight race. Martin, Carly Colville, Rhoads and Scotton posted a season-best time in the event.
Jenkins, Rachel Prendergast and Kira Hanson placed 2-3-4 in the 100-yard backstroke. In the 100-yard breatstroke, NCMP had Martin, Griffith and Rhoads have personal-best times to go 2-4-5.
The NCMP junior varsity lost by a slim margin. Patterson said Abby Jolivett won the 200-meter individual medley in a personal-best time to lead the way. Others have strong performances were Olivia Maharry and Katherine Thorpe in the individual medley, Ashley Jefferson in the 50-yard freestyle, Ellie Rethmaier and Kaitlyn Sorensen in the 100-yard butterfly, Quinana Hamm and Lynae Doland in the 100-yard freestyle, Grace Perrin, Thorpe and Hannah Marston in the backstroke event, Maharry in the breaststroke and the 400-yard freestyle relay team of Jefferson, Willa Colville, Thorpe and Cassi Fitzgerald.