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Local Sports

The Pressbox

Cool Runnings

Cool runnings were made by Newton Cardinal swimmers last Saturday in Iowa district swimming competition. The Cardinals made seven qualifying times, set two NHS records, produced a district individual champion and had a lot of personal best times in the heated waters of the Southeast Polk High swimming pool.

Newton has four swimmers going to this Saturday’s IHSAA state swim meet in Marshalltown. Austin Bunker, Isaak Webb and Jake Lensing will swim in four events — two individuals and two relays. The lone senior headed to his first state meet is Josh Bailey, who swims on the 200-yard medley relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Webb is Newton’s district champion, setting a Cardinal record in winning Saturday’s 200-yard individual medley. In the individual medley, competitors swim all four strokes — back, breast, butterfly and free.

Bunker, who is the only swimmer on the Newton team with state experience, returns as a sophomore. Bunker and Webb are competing in the 100-yard butterfly. Lensing came close to a district championship in the 100-yard breaststroke, finishing second, plus qualified in the “flurry of water” 50-yard freestyle.

The foursome lowered their own NHS 200 medley relay record by three seconds, finishing second.

Newton’s Cardinals are soaring in the water this season. It should be a great state meet for the Cardinals.

JAMAICA’s 2014 Winter Olympics bobsled team has people recalling the movie “Cool Runnings.” The movie was based on the Jamaicans first-ever run in the bobsled event at the Calgary Games in 1988.

This year’s Jamaican team arrived in Sochi, Russia, without luggage and equipment last week. It finally arrived and they were able to begin practicing.

The bobsled events are running Feb. 16-23 at the Olympics.

SPEAKING of bobsled, Iowa native Lolo Jones, former Olympic hurdler, is on the United States women’s bobsled team. Jones just got out of quarantine in Sochi. She had a cold.

Jones talked fellow track Olympian Lauryn Williams into trying bobsledding. Williams thought about quitting bobsledding after her very first ride four months ago.

She stuck around, and another Olympic medal may be her reward.

Williams’ improbable story grew Saturday when she was selected to push the USA-1 sled driven by Elana Meyers at the Sochi Olympics. That decision legitimizes her chance of becoming only the second person to win gold in two sports at the summer and winter games, after she helped the U.S. win the 4x100-meter relay at the London Games two years ago.

Jones will push the USA-3 sled driven by Jazmine Fenlator of Wayne, N.J. In USA-2, it’s Jamie Greubel of Newtown, Pa. driving with brakeman Aja Evans of Chicago.

Jones, of Des Moines, Iowa, and Williams, of Rochester, Penn., are becoming the ninth and 10th Americans to compete in both the summer and winter Olympics.

To all who compete in life — may you have cool runnings.

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