NEWTON — NCMP’s Aquagirls head northeast Saturday to defend their North Central Iowa Conference swimming championship. The NCIC meet is in Decorah at Luther College, starting at 11 a.m.
“We should be in pretty good shape for the conference meet. We won it outright last year for the first time, and our goal to be conference champs again,” said Sarah Patterson, NCMP head coach.
“Overall, we are super excited to go swim in Luther College’s new pool and make our mark there. Our junior varsity team will all swim the 50 and 100 distances — either freestyle or their best stroke. They have been tapering all week, so it will be fun to see them swim rested and pumped up to beat their best times.”
As for the varsity, Patterson said the Aquagirls should be seeded first in all of the relays, and should have the top seed in many events as well. Patterson highlighted the individual events for the NCMP team going into the meet.
Samantha Hedrick should have top billing in the 200 freestyle; her goal is to break two minutes, which would be a school record for the NCMP team. Sara Martin and Hannah Rhoads should be seeded at or near the top in the 200 individual medley event.These girls have been cranking this event out all season long, Patterson said.
The 50 freestyle is always a fast race, and Hannah Scotton has to be one of the favorites. Scotton is also the favorite to take the top spot in the butterfly, but Patterson said she expects freshman Emily Miller and sophomore Elizabeth Myers to be able to score in the top six as well.
Samantha Hedrick and Rachel Prendergast should be a great combo in the 100 freestyle. Freshman Sarah Prendergast, senior Emily Forsyth, and freshman Willa Collville will be a strong trio in the 500 freestyle.
“Sydney Jenkins is going to have a fun race as she will seeded near the top in the backstroke with a swimmer from Grinnell, Beth Mitchell, and a swimmer from Decorah, Taylor Martinek. I love that she’s getting a chance at great competition so close to our district meet,” Patterson said.
The 100 breaststroke should be a dominant event for the Aquagirls with the team of Sara Martin, Hannah Rhoads, and Sierra Griffith. The three ladies have turned in big points all season long, Patterson said.
“We will once again be behind the eight-ball because we don’t have any divers, and in a championship format, we will give up a lot of points. So, we will start the meet out of the top three and have to work our way back in. It’s then the job of the girls to battle back and earn as many points as possible. They have a podium at this meet, so we want to get as many girls and relays in the top six as possible,” Patterson said.