Loud cheers were heard for a junior varsity swimmer finishing a race even though she was last and for a swimmer breaking a school record. It has never mattered for NCMP’s Aquagirls as swimmers support each other right down the line.
On Thursday at home, the Aquagirls took on the fourth-ranked Ankeny Hawkettes at the Newton YMCA. They didn’t win — Ankeny 120, NCMP 50 — but they didn’t back down either.
“It was a race. We knew it. It didn’t matter if we were winning a race or 20 seconds behind, we were racing ourselves. We were challenging ourselves to have better times,” senior Miranda Ervin said following the meet.
“We’re not afraid to be very competitive with each other during practices. We’ll throw down on each other, which makes us competitive when we go up against another team.”
The Aquagirls won two of the 11 events in varsity races. The junior varsity competition went to Ankeny 127-39.
“It’s tough. Ankeny is one of the top teams in the state, and a huge team where some of the girls swim year around,” NCMP head coach Sarah Patterson said. “We went into the meet tonight ready to battle, and the girls did in every race.”
Patterson said the Aquagirls started out a bit sluggish in the pool, but the NCMP swimmers gradually got stronger.
Junior Lindsey Blommers swam on two relays. She took to the water in a new event, the 100-meter butterfly, and won. Blommers’ final race of the night was her race — the 100-meter breaststroke.
Blommers, who is ranked No. 2 in the 100 breaststroke, was challenged early by Ankeny’s Andrea Rodriguez. On the 50-meter turn, Blommers pulled away and broke her own school record in the event.
“I was hoping to PR tonight. I’m always nervous right before we get up on the blocks,” Blommers said. “As soon I dive in the water, I focus, and start thinking about my stroke and my technique. I really never know where people are in the race because of the stroke. I don’t see anybody else. I just go out and swim my fastest and see how it comes out.”
It came out with a new school record at 1 minute, 16. 24 seconds. She set the NCMP record in the 100-meter race last year in 1:16.50. Blommers also has the team’s 100-yard breaststroke record.
Blommers swims the breaststroke leg of the 200 medley relay race for NCMP. She combined with freshman Natalie Boll, junior Lakin Jenkins and sophomore Courtney Dawson to place second in the opening event of the meet in 2:13.15. Ankeny’s medley relay team is ranked No. 9 in the state, winning in 2:07.32.
“Tonight, I just made sure I did more of my warmups in the breaststroke. It takes me awhile to find my tempo especially in the medley relay,” Blommers said.
Blommers gave NCMP its first win of the night in the 100 butterfly. She said the only time she swims the butterfly is when she’s practicing the 200 individual medley event. In the IM, swimmers only go 50 meters performing the butterfly stroke.
“Since Ankeny is such a big team, we were looking to put people in different events to score points. So coach decided to enter me in the 100 butterfly,” Blommers said.
Blommers and Natalie Boll went 1-2 in the butterfly race. Blommers won in 1:14.10 and Boll touched the wall next in 1:18.21. In the 200 freestyle relay, the NCMP team of Blommers, Dawson, senior Jessica Zahn and junior Alex Inskeep took second in 2:02 to the Hawkettes’ No. 2-ranked foursome, 1:53.99.
Inskeep and Zahn went third and fourth, respectively in the 200 freestyle race in 2:227.75 and 2:30.79. Jenkins finished third in the 100 freestyle to second-ranked Jasmine Rumley of Ankeny, 1:06.52 to 1:00.41.
Ankeny’s Rumley is top-ranked in the 50 freestyle and she won Thursday in 27.23 seconds. NCMP senior Jaclyn Michener was fourth in 31.06 and Dawson was fifth in 31.95.
Jenkins turned in a third-place swim in the 100 backstroke in 1:16.99. Paulius and Inskeep had fourth-place finishes in the 200 IM in 2:57.98 and the 400 freestyle in 5:24.37, respectively.
In the final event of the meet — the 400 freestyle relay — Ankeny went 1-2 and its winning team is ranked No. 2 in the state. NCMP’s foursome of Natalie Boll, Zahn, Jenkins and Inskeep was third in 4:28.07.
“I challenged the girls, if we’re going to make state with a couple of relays, we really have to decide that and work on that,” Patterson said. “We had some really good swims. Lindsey’s school record which makes her feel good about being on track.
“Our junior varsity swimmers are coming along and our distance people looked good tonight. We’re going to keep working on our sprints and fine tuning. It was great team atmosphere tonight with the spontaneous cheering for teammates. We battled at that was the plan.”
Senior Janna Balek claimed second in the junior varsity 100 butterfly race in 1:30.12. Sophomore Emma Thomas placed second in the 50 freestyle in 32.42 seconds.
“This is a great team to be on. Our team bonding has been great this season,” Irvin said. “We’re so tight as a team. Anything I can do to help these girls is what I want to do. We’re all invested in improving as individuals and as a team. I believe this team is great preparation for the real world.”
NCMP is at home Tuesday hosting Oskaloosa. The dual meet begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Newton YMCA.
Here are the complete results for the NCMP teams from Thursday’s meet:
Ankeny 120, NCMP 50
200-m medley relay: 2. NCMP (Natalie Boll, Lindsey Blommers, Lakin Jenkins, Courtney Dawson), 2:13.15; 5. NCMP (Rachel Boll, Allison Paulius, Makenna Brooks, Jaclyn Michener), 2:19.45.
200-m freestyle: 3. Alex Inskeep, 2:27.75, 4. Jessica Zahn, 2:30.79, 6. Arabella Eide, 2:40.06.
200-m individual medley: 4. Paulius, 2:57.98, 5. Erika Van Sickle, 6. Sarah Urias, 3:01.93.
50-m freestyle: 4. Michener, 31:06, 5. Dawson, 31.95m 6. Abbie Hill, 32.42.
100-m butterfly: 1. Blommers, 1:14.10, 2. Natalie Boll, 1:18.21, 6. Chloe Kibbe, 1:25.67.
100-m freestyle: 3. Jenkins, 1:06.52, 5. Zahn, 1:08.26, 6. Brooks, 1:10.28.
400-m freestyle: 4. Inskeep, 5:24.37, 5. Arabella Eide, 5:37.65, 6. Rachel Boll, 5:43.78.
200-m freestyle relay: 2. NCMP (Blommers, Zahn, Dawson, Inskeep), 2:02, 5. NCMP (Hill, Van Sickle, Brooks, Michener), 2:07.29, 6. NCMP (Paulius Balek, Eide, Emma Thomas), 2:12.59.
100-m backstroke: 3. Jenkins, 1:16.99, 5. Natalie Boll, 1:17.70, 6. Kibbee, 1:29.17.
100-m breaststroke: 1. Blommers, 1:16.24 (school record), 4. Paulius, 1:26.73, 6. Van Sickle, 1:33.78.
400-m freestyle relay: 3. NCMP (Natalie Boll, Zahn, Jenkins, Inskeep), 4:28.07, 5. NCMP (Dawson, Brooks, Eide, Rachel Boll), 4:46.65, 6. NCMP (Hill, Urias, Thomas, Michener), 4:51.57.
Ankeny 127, NCMP 39
200-m medley relay: 4. NCMP (Molly Coy, Molly Lamb, Janna Balek Brooke McNeer), 2:44.91, 5. NCMP (Jordon Pritchard, Delaney Nasalroad, Liv Barnes, Kinzi Van Wyk), 2:55.06, 6. NCMP (Hanna Clark, Alona Kosenko, Jaden Hobbs, JoJo Brown), 3:21.71.
200-m freestyle: 4. Mariah Petro, 2:57.32, 5. Camilla Schlosser, 2:58.15, 6. Miranda Ervin, 3:42.92.
200-m individual medley: 4. Coy, 3:31.08, 5. Bri Teague, 3:27.43, 6. Lamb, 3:47.35.
50-m freestyle: 2. Emma Thomas, 32.42, 3. Barnes, 35.42, 4. McNeer, 37.21; exhibition: Kalie Smith, 41.89, Hobbs, 40.31, Van Wyk, 38.36, GD Duong, 58.14.
100-m butterfly: 2. Balek, 1:30.12, 3. Pritchard, 1:52.67.
100-m freestyle: 3. Julia Prime, 1:16.33, 5. Barnes, 1:17.51, 6. Ervin, 1:41.38; exhibition: Brown, 1:41.31.
400-m freestyle: 4. Thomas, 6:09.41, 5. Petro, 6:22.51, 6. Smith, 6:55.79.
200-m freestyle relay: 3. NCMP (Schlosser, Teague, McNeer, Barnes), 2:23.94, 4. NCMP (Nasalroad, Pritchard, Hobbs, Van Wyk), 2:39.30, 5. NCMP (Brown, Kosenko, Duong, Ervin), 3:22.61.
100-m backstroke: 4. Urias, 1:25.32, 5. Prime, 1:26.74, 6. Coy, 1:31.02.
100-m breaststroke: 4. Teague, 1:43.56, 5. Nasalroad, 1:48.05, 6. Lamb, 1:52.07.
400-m freestyle relay: 3. NCMP (Balek, Schlosser, Coy, Prime), 5:10.76, 4. NCMP (McNeer, Pritchard, Smith, Petro), 5:50.13, 5. NCMP (Ervin, Hobbs, Brown, Van Wyk).
Contact Jocelyn Sheets at 641-792-3121 ext. 6535 or firstname.lastname@example.org