MARSHALLTOWN — Within seconds — that’s how close a shorthanded Newton swim team came to beating Marshalltown at their home pool on Monday.
It came down to the 400-yard freestyle relay. The Bobcats and Cardinals were knotted up at 78-78 with one event to go. Sophomore Austin Bunker got the team out to a fast start, and it was neck and neck when Josh Bailey took the water. It was still seemingly tied up when the torch was passed to Landon King, but Marshalltown’s Daniel Lothe had more gas in the tank and allowed the Bobcats to pull away with the victory.
In the double dual, Newton beat Oskaloosa 124-43. The Bobcats beat Osky 131-35, and Marshalltown topped Newton, 88-82.
Despite the loss, Newton coach Dave Hook was pleased with the effort and passion he saw out of his boys, especially towards the end of the meet.
“I thought we gave a great effort. For missing one of our best swimmers tonight and for that meet to be so close, the guys really gave it their all,” Hook said.
Coming off a banner day in Waterloo on Saturday, the Cardinals may have been suffering from fatigue. Coupling that with not having one of the team’s more accomplished swimmers, showed Hook how competitive his team can be.
“It might have tired them out a little bit, but still we swam some good times today. They were very competitive all the way down to the end. We did a nice job,” Hook said. “Brock Southern did a great job. Aaron King and Josh Bailey had good nights, as well. We overall, swam well and swam hard.”
The Cards won the 200 medley relay with a a team of Aaron King, Isaak Webb, Landon King and Bailey in 1 minute, 48.81 seconds. Austin Bunker took the 200 freestyle in 1:52.12. Bunker also finished second in the 500 freestyle at 5:23.20. Webb won the 200 individual medley in 2:04.59, followed by Jeff Fitzgerald in third at 2:29.11. Brock Souther was fourth in the 50 freestyle at 26.40. Aaron King and Landon King swam 3-4 in the 100 butterfly with times of 1:03.17 and 1:08.05, respectively.
Bailey placed second in the 100 freestyle at 53.68. Bailey and Aaron King swam 1-2 in the 100 backstroke with times of 1:04.48 and 1:04.95, respectively. Aaron King, Fitzgerald, Paul DeHart and Bunker made up the first-place 200 freestyle team that swam 1:38.50. Newton’s “B” team, made up of Zach Theis, Reese Rosenquist, Jacob Thomas and Clay Trotter, took third in the event, swimming 1:52.46.
Newton’s swimmers finished 1-2-3 in the 100 breastroke. Webb took the top spot in 1:04.39, followed by Fitzgerald in 1:14.60 and Logan Norcross in 1:18.36. Newton’s aforementioned 400 freestyle team was second in 3:31.76.
The Cards head to Fort Dodge on Saturday, and with slightly more than three weeks remaining before heading to districts, Hook wants to continue to see steady increases out of his team’s times.
“We’re going to look to continue to improve our times, continue to do well in our four remaining dual meets,” Hook said. “We have Fort Dodge on Saturday, and we usually do really well up there, so we’re just looking to finish up strong.”