One of the most grueling races in the swimming pool is the 400-meter freestyle as a single swimmer goes 16 laps in the Newton YMCA pool.
Two freshmen — NCMP’s Natalie Boll and Atlantic’s Bryer Rose — staged an exciting end to the longest individual race of Thursday’s dual meet. The two were ahead of the field throughout the race. Boll and Rose exchanged the lead on turns.
“I just started out setting my own pace. Halfway through the race I try to keep that pace,” Boll said following the meet. “I saw that girl catching up with me. I thought of all the hard work I’ve put in during practices and I was determined to win the race for my teammates.”
With 50 meters to go, Boll had pulled ahead of Rose, but on the final turn Rose pushed out to a slight lead. Then it got loud in the YMCA pool area as both teams began cheering their swimmers on in a close sprint in the final 20 meters.
“I always try to breathe so I can see Coach Patterson. Usually for me, she’s signaling to me to put my head down as I swim. Yes, I can see her motioning things to me as I go. I could hear everyone cheering,” Boll said.
NCMP head coach Sarah Patterson called the 400 freestyle the race of the night. Boll claimed the victory by a fraction of a second, touching in a personal-best time of 5 minutes, 10.48 seconds. Rose’s time was 5:10.85.
“When I touched I immediately looked to my left to see where she was. I was so happy with the win and the crowd was cheering for me,” Boll said.
NCMP came up just short in its home meet with Atlantic, which is No. 17 in the state’s power rankings. Atlantic is a smaller team but has strong swimmers, who paced the Trojans to an 87-83 win over the Aquagirls.
“From top to bottom this was the best meet we’ve had this year. I know we lost by four points, but you can’t do any better than have the feelings of a good, close meet,” Patterson said. “We haven’t had a close meet this season. Either we dominated people or we were dominated. We’ve never beaten Atlantic, and they are good.”
The Aquagirls opened the meet well with a win in the 200-meter medley relay. NCMP’s foursome of Lakin Jenkins, Lindsey Blommers, MaKenna Brooks and Jaclyn Michener claimed the victory in 2:13.39.
In the 200 freestyle, Jessica Zahn led a 3-4-5 finish with a 2:29.71 time. Courtney Dawson was fourth in 2:33.41 and Erika Van Sickle took fifth in 2:34.65.
Blommers won the first of two individual races as she beat Atlantic’s Jessica Hartwig in the 200 individual medley by 10 seconds. Blommers was first in 2:39.26. NCMP’s Natalie Boll placed third in 2:50.34 and Allison Paulius was fourth in 2:55.65.
Alex Inskeep finished third in 30.01 seconds in the 50 freestyle. Rachel Boll was fourth in 31.29. Brooks posted a second-place time of 1:16.89 in the 100 butterfly with Abbie Hill in third and Chloe Kibbee in fourth at 1:22.61 and 1:22.75, respectively.
“With 36 people with varying levels of ability, we’ve had pockets of good swimming and racing this season. Tonight, I saw some things I have not seen this season from our girls,” Patterson said. “This meet is a good confidence boost for the whole team.
“Makenna’s 100 butterfly was a tremendous race against a girl who is much faster than her. Makenna was determined to hang with the Atlantic swimmer and she did, losing by just two seconds.”
Atlantic won seven of the 11 varsity races. The Trojans went 1-2 in three events including the 100 freestyle. NCMP’s Jenkins was third in a fraction of a second, toughing in 1:05.79 as Kate Landhuis of Atlantic was second in 1:05.57.
In the 200 freestyle relay race, the team of Blommers, Zahn, Michener and Inskeep took second in 2:00.99. Jenkins was second in the 100 backstroke in 1:15.34 and Rachel Boll was fourth in 1:16.76.
The 100 breaststroke race belonged to Blommers. She pulled away from the field on the first turn and won going away in 1:6.76. Hartwig of Atlantic was a distant second in 1:23.87 as NCMP’s Paulius took third in 1:26.74.
Atlantic’s top 400 freestyle team established a lead the Aquagirls could not overcome, so the race was on for second place. Two NCMP foursomes were able to out-touch the Trojans’ second team
Inskeep anchored NCMP’s second-place team after Natalie Boll, Zahn and Jenkins swam their 100-meter legs pot the relay. Inskeep was next to the second Atlantic team anchor and put together a strong final 100 meters of the race, helping her team to second place in 4:27.81.
Two lanes over, the NCMP team of Brooks, Dawson, Van Sickle and Rachel Boll pushed hard also. The team was third in 4:39.04.
“We went into that race all nervous, but it was the good kind of nervous, you know,” Inskeep said. “We just wanted to use all that nervous energy to go fast. Up on the block at the end, I just knew I had to just swim. I just swam it with all my heart.”
Patterson said Blommers had another great night in the pool with a big win in the 200 individual medley and of course, her breaststroke victory. Patterson also pointed to Inskeep’s night in the pool as a tremendous performance.
Inskeep said the NCMP team is a close one with loads of love and support for each other. She said every time she sees her teammate’s faces it makes her want to smile.
“We pick each other if we have a down race. We did well tonight and we’re all proud of it,” Inskeep said.
NCMP’s junior varsity won every event to beat Atlantic 131-4. The Trojans had one junior varsity swimmer in one race. Janna Balek won the 50 freestyle and the 100 butterfly and anchored the 200 freestyle relay to victory.
“I saw some better racing tonight and a little more fearlessness from our swimmers. It takes wanting it to be able to drop time, to win races or to break a record,” Patterson said. “All of our swimmers are fantastic girls, I would just like to see a little more grit and fire from them during meets.
“I saw more of that tonight, but we have a ways to go. We have to get excited about being competitive.”
Next up for the NCMP swimmers is the Southeast Polk Ram Relays on Thursday. The meet begins at 5 p.m. at Southeast Polk High School’s pool in Pleasant Hill.
Atlantic 87, NCMP 83
(2 relays per team score;
5 places in individual races score)
200-m medley relay: 1. NCMP (Lakin Jenkins, Lindsey Blommers, Makenna Brooks, Jaclyn Michener) 2:13.39, 3. NCMP (Rachel Boll, Allison Paulius, Abbie Hill, Chloe Kibbee); 4. NCMP (Julia Prime, Bri Teague, Janna Balek, Sarah Urias), 2:32.29.
200-m freestyle: 3. Jessica Zahn 2:29.71, 4. Courtney Dawson, 2:33.41, 5. Erika Van Sickle, 2:34.65.
200-m IM: 1. Lindsey Blommers, 2:39.26, 3. Natalie Boll, 2:50.34, 4. Paulius, 2:55.65.
50-m freestyle: 3. Alex Inskeep, 30.01, 4. Rachel Boll, 31.29.
100-m butterfly: 2. Brooks, 1:16.89, 3. Hill, 1:22.61, 4. Kibbee, 1:22.75.
100-m freestyle: 3. Jenkins, 1:05.79, 4. Inskeep, 1:05.99, 6. Dawson, 1:11.66.
400-m freestyle: 1. Natalie Boll, 5:10.48, 3. Zahn, 5:17.32, 5. Arabella Eide, 5:31.24.
200-m freestyle relay: 2. NCMP (Blommers, Zahn, Michener, Inskeep), 2:00.99, 4. NCMP (Hill, Dawson, Brooks, Natalie Boll), 2:07.38, 5. NCMP (Emma Thomas, Kibbee, Urias, Van Sickle), 2:08.05.
100-m backstroke: 2. Jenkins, 1:15.34, 4. Rachel Boll, 1:16.76, 6. Prime, 1:26.97.
100-m breaststroke: 1. Blommers, 1:16.76, 3. Paulius, 1:26.74, 4. Teague, 1:37.83.
400-m freestyle relay: 2. NCMP (Natalie Boll, Zahn, Jenkins, Inskeep), 4:27.81, 3. NCMP (Brooks, Dawson, Van Sickle, Rachel Boll), 4:39.04, 5. NCMP (Eide, Kibbee, Hill, Michener), 4:51.57,
(2 relays per team score;
5 places in individual races score)
NCMP 131, Atlantic 4
200-m medley relay: 1. NCMP (Molly Coy, Harley Neal, Jaden Hobbs, Liv Barnes), 2:40.45.
200-m freestyle: 1. Arabella Eide, 2:37.26, 2. Camilla Schlosser, 2:57.39, 3. Miranda Ervin, 3:31.90.
200-m IM: 1. Sarah Urias, 3:00.91, 2. Emma Thomas, 3:09.60, 3. Coy, 3:22.70.
50-m freestyle: 1. Janna Balek, 1:32.67, 2. Brooke McNeer, 35.54, 4. Kinzi Van Wyk, 36.57; Exhibition: JoJo Brown, 44.55.
100-m butterfly: 1. Balek, 1:32.67, 2. Hobbs, 1:35.59, 3. Jordon Pritchard, 1:48.28.
100-m freestyle: 1. Erika Van Sickle, 1:10.52, 2. Thomas, 1:15.87, 3. Prime, 1:18.00. Exhibition: Liv Barnes, 1:18.13, Delaney Nasalroad, 1:30.26, Neal, 1:16.31.
400-m freestyle: 1. Mariah Petro, 6:20.78, 2. Kalie Smith, 6:43.81, 3. Brown, 7:40.43.
200-m freestyle relay: 1. NCMP (Neal, Teague, Schlosser, Balek), 2:20.31, 2. NCMP (McNeer, Smith, Ervin, Van Wyk), 2:36.18.
100-m backstroke: 1. Urias, 1:27.94, 2. Molly Coy, 1:30.65, 3. Pritchard, 1:53.32.
100-m breaststroke: 1. Neal, 1:39.99, 2. Nasalroad, 1:48.50.
400-m freestyle relay: 1. NCMP (Schlosser, Petro, McNeer, Barnes), 5:30.36, 2. NCMP (Hobbs, Pritchard, Ervin, Smith), 6:04.01.
Contact Jocelyn Sheets at 641-792-3121 ext. 6535 or firstname.lastname@example.org