WEST DES MOINES — NCMP’s Aquagirls fell three points short Tuesday. They went into the dual with host Dowling Catholic with a spotless dual record for 2013. Their goal was to avenge their only dual loss of last year.
“We knew we would have a battle on our hands, and that is exactly what it was,” said Sarah Patterson, NCMP’s head coach. “The meet went back and forth the whole time. Unfortunately, we had to spot them 13 points because we do not have a diving team due to having no facilities for diving.
“We lost by three points, but we are holding our heads high because we give it everything we had and left everything in the pool. Coach (Chris) Forsyth and I are very proud of these girls and of the seniors for the leadership they have shown.”
Patterson said the meet came down to the last relay and “we just didn’t have the depth that they did.”
NCMP won the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3 minutes, 46.11 seconds the group of Carly Colville, Rachel Prendergast, Sydney Jenkins, and Samantha Hedrick.
“Samantha’s final split of 53.92 brought down the house as she dominated Dowling’s last swimmer in the homestretch. Each girl on that relay swam a great leg, I’m excited for this relay as we head into the end of the season. Our “B” relay fought a great fight to grab that 3rd spot, but just fell short. On paper, their B should have beaten ours by four seconds, but our swimmers drove hard and only lost by 1.78 seconds. Like I said, the whole meet was a tremendous team effort,” Patterson said.
The Aquagirls have little time to worry about the loss to Dowling. They turn around and travel to Southeast Polk Thursday.
The Aquagirls went first and third in the 200-yard medley relay to open the meet. The team of Jenkins, Sara Martin, Hannah Scotton and Hannah Rhoads won the race with the foursome of Rachel Prendergast, Sierra Griffith, Sarah Prendergast and Emily Miller finishing third.
Hedrick and Carly Colville posted personal and season best times in the 200-yard freestyle, placing second and third, respectively. Patterson said both girls swam a smart race and used a strong kick in the final 50 yards. She said the race is an eight-pool lengths sprint and was proud with the way Hedrick and Carly Colville finished the race.
Martin and Rhoads clocked personal-best times in the 200-yard individual medley race. Martin finished second and Rhoads was third.
“They train so hard for this multi-stroke event. I really push them during our stroke practices,” Patterson said.
Scotton won the 50-yard freestyle in 25.87 seconds. Patterson said the rest of the field battled for second. NCMP’s Jenkins placed fourth in 26.78 seconds. After the 50-yard freestyle race, NCMP led Dowling 32-30.
Scotton continued her strong run in the 100-yard butterfly, winning the event with Carly Colville in second place.
“All our butterflyers this year have had a workhorse mentality, and are so much fun to coach. They put tons of meters in butterfly in the pool, and anyone who has ever done this stroke knows that it’s a tough one,” Patterson said.
Hedrick powered her way to first place in the 100-yard freestyle race. Rachel Prendergast placed third and “refused to give up and edged out the fourth-place girl by five 100ths of a second,” Patterson said.
Patterson said in the 500-yard freestyle, Dowling had a half a dozen girls with times faster than the NCMP girls’ times, but the Aquagirls swam well on the night. Sarah Prendergast was the top finisher for NCMP in fourth with a time of 5 minutes, 54.68 seconds.
The Aquagirl quartet of Carly Colville, Rhoads, Scotton and Hedrick won the 200-yard freestyle real in 1:43.57. Miller, Elizabeth Myers, Emily Forsyth and Sarah Prendergast combined for fourth in 1:50.60.
NCMP went 2-4-6 in the 100-yard backstroke, led by Jenkins. Rachel Prendergast was fourth, edging out a Dowling swimmer by three 100th’s of a second. Kaelle Knoll posted a personal-best time of 1:11.51 for sixth.
Martin, Rhoads and Griffith swept the top three spots in the 100-yard breaststroke race.
“All three of these girls dominated and fired up the crowd and all of our swimmers. Sara has had an unbelievable year, dropping time and showing such poise as a competitor. This group scored a whopping 13 points in this event alone,” Patterson said.
“I want to emphasize every single girl on our team gave it her absolute all. There was not one event or one swim that caused this meet to go either way. Every girl left her heart in the pool and I couldn’t be prouder,”
Patterson said there were many outstanding junior varsity swims on the night as well.
Freshman Willa Colville is having a great season and went a personal-best time of 2:20.70 in the 200-yard freestyle. Brianna Fuller went a personal-best time in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 6:35.02. Grace Perrin won her third 100-yard butterfly race and Olivia Maharry keeps winning the junior varsity 100-yard breaststroke no matter the team NCMP faces, Patterson said.
Patterson said senior Paige Reed had an outstanding split in the 200-yard medley relay freestyle leg with a 28.60. Sophomore and newcomer to the team, Beckah Henry keeps dropping time in the 50-yard freestyle and went a 31. 78 for fifth place. Patterson said all of the junior varsity relay swimmers “put their hearts into their races and there were many good splits.”
“We define ourselves way more than our wins and losses — this meet will make us stronger as we head into the home stretch of the season,” Patterson said.