It all comes down to this.
Newton Senior High School’s boys swim team has had a banner regular season, which was capped off by a win at home on Senior Night. The Cardinals head to Southeast Polk for district competition, and although the season has ended for a majority of the Cardinals’ swimmers, those who have performed at or near the top level for the team will be given the opportunity to keep the season going.
Newton’s swimmers have set multiple records this season. It was a trend that started in early December, when the 200-meter medley relay team shattered a 33-year old mark with a collective time of 1 minute, 55.42 seconds.
The newly record setting team of Isaak Webb, Austin Bunker, Jake Lensing and Landon King was not at all surprised with the performance, which shows the confidence it takes to break such a record in the first place. That record-setting time ranks second among all teams headed to the Southeast Polk district site.
Newton’s 400 freestyle team followed suit with another record-breaking performance more than a week later. Bunker, Webb, Lensing and Josh Bailey comprised a team that swam 3:52.18, breaking a six-year-old mark. That team ranks fourth among district competitors headed to Southeast Polk, giving the team yet another shot at a state qualifier.
Almost a month later at a meet in Fort Dodge, Newton’s 200-yard medley relay team (Bunker, Lensing, Webb and Bailey) broke that school record with a time of 1:42.27. Finally, last Friday, Bunker capped off the regular season with the team’s only individual record-breaking performance, a swim of 1:03.43 in the 100-meter backstroke.
Each of these record-breakers will be eyeing a trip to the state meet, but there are other performances that show some other individuals may be ready for that level. Lensing’s season-best time of 1:03.03 in the 100-yard backstroke ranks him first among all swimmers at the district site; his teammate Webb ranks fourth with a time of 1:03.68. Lensing ranks third among district competitors in the 50-yard freestyle at 22.35.
Webb has come close to breaking Newton’s 200-yard individual medley record time of 2:02.43 several times during the season, and his season-best time of 2:02.43 has him second among his competition at Southeast Polk. Webb also ranks second in the 100-yard butterfly at 55.04.
Swimming begins at 9:15 a.m., with the top 24 times in each events qualifying for the state meet in Marshalltown on Feb.15.