It doesn’t take a swim fan long to find Samantha Hedrick’s name on the Newton-Colfax-Mingo-Pella record board inside the Newton YMCA pool.
Hedrick is all over the board and one of the most elite swimmers to ever wear the Aquagirl swimsuit.
Tuesday, in NCMP’s season opener, Hedrick put her name on one more board and bettered one of her own previous records during the Aquagirls’ 105-65 win over the Lions, who placed at last year’s state meet.
Hedrick won two individual races and was a part of two relay victories and Sydney Jenkins won two individual races and joined Hedrick on the winning 400-meter freestyle relay.
The Aquagirls won eight events overall and went 1-2 in the 200 freestyle, 1-2-3 in the 100 butterfly, 1-2 in the 100 freestyle and 1-3 in both the 100 breaststroke and backstroke.
“They had a lot of good races. This team loves to race, and I love for them to race,” NCMP coach Sarah Patterson said. “The Linn-Mar girls were not backing down, that’s for sure. Our girls are super excited, and the times for the first meet of the year were good.”
Hedrick bettered her own school record in the 200 freestyle when she hit the wall in 2 minutes, 9.24 seconds. She set that mark last year with a time of 2:11.57.
Hedrick had the school record in the 100-yard butterfly but added her name to the 100-meter butterfly when she broke the time Hannah Scotton recorded last season. Hedrick crossed the line Tuesday in 1:04.15.
Breaking one of her friend’s records was bittersweet for Hedrick.
“It feels pretty good. We’ve been training really hard at practice,” Hedrick said. “Hannah is one of my closest friends, and it was fun watching her last year and learning from her. It’s kind of sentimental, and I miss her swimming with me.”
Jenkins’ two individual wins came in the 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke. She hit the wall in 29.76 seconds and 1:14.20, respectively.
The other two individual wins came from Madeline Webb and Lindsey Blommers. Webb won the 100 freestyle in 1:05.94 and she also was second to Hedrick in the 200 freestyle. Blommers triumphed in the 100 breaststroke in 1:22.77.
Hedrick, Jenkins and Webb were joined by Elizabeth Myers in winning the 400 freestyle relay in 4:19.79. Myers also was second in the 100 freestyle and stood out to Patterson as a senior ready to put a positive cap on her swimming career.
“She’s a little powerhouse who wants to have an amazing senior year,” Patterson said. “She’s kind of quiet and goes under the radar, but she put herself on the map tonight.”
The eighth win of the night came in the 200 freestyle relay. That foursome included Alexis Stout, Webb, Hannah Rhoads and Hedrick and they hit the wall in 1:56.86.
In the 200 individual medley, Rhoads was runner-up followed by Sierra Griffith and Sarah Prendergast in third and fourth, respectively.
Stout was second behind Hedrick in the 100 butterfly and Emily Miller made it a clean sweep at the top with a third-place tally.
Kaelee Knoll was third in the 100 backstroke, Prendergast was third in the 400 freestyle and Griffith and Rhoads made it a 1-3-4 finish in the 100 breaststroke.
The runner-ups in the 400 freestyle relay were the NCMP foursome of Prendergast, Jessica Zahn, Knoll and Miller.
Finishing second in the 200 medley relay was Jenkins, Griffith, Rhoads and Stout, and the third-place team included Knoll, Blommers, Miller and Prendergast.
Linn-Mar did not have two of its best swimmers from last year’s fifth-place finish at the state meet, but the Lions still pose a formidable challenge, and the Aquagirls passed it with flying colors.
“We had a better mindset this year than we did last year,” Hedrick said. “We knew they were really good last year. We thought they’d still be good this year, but we also knew we had a better chance to win.”
The only thing that went wrong for the Aquagirls was a few over swims. But that’s not a bad thing at this point in the season.
“They were too excited and maybe had to fight the water more then they worked with the water,” Patterson said. “If that’s the worst problem we have, I am not going to complain. That’s just a matter of just relaxing and having a little bit of fun.”
The NCMP junior varsity won eight events and defeated Linn-Mar, 107-61. Individual wins came from Zahn (200 freestyle), Blommers (2000 IM), Lakin Jenkins (100 freestyle), Alex Inskeep (400 freestyle), Julie Prime (100 backstroke) and Alexis DeVries (100 breaststroke).
The Aquagirls also won the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay and went 2-3-4 in the 400 freestyle relay.