JOHNSTON — Lindsey Blommers didn’t know if she would advance to her second straight state swim meet when she left the Summit Middle School swimming pool Saturday in Johnston. The NCMP junior had earned her third straight regional medal in the 100-yard breaststroke placing fourth.
Early Saturday evening, the state qualifiers were posted by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union. Blommers will be competing in this Saturday’s 2017 IGHSAU state swimming meet in Marshalltown. Six swimmers out of the Johnston regional breaststroke race advanced to state.
Leading the group of six was junior Molly Winer of Ames, which had three swimmers in the race advance, with the fastest time across the state in regional competition, 1 minute, 3.49 seconds. She beat her Ames teammate Kirsti Robertson by three seconds, 1:06.96. Johnston’s Kendall Hostetler, a senior, was third in 1:07.47.
Blommers, who was a defending regional champion and edged out the Ames swimmers a year ago, touched in 1:07.64 — her season’s best in the event. Then it was the waiting game. The Johnston regional had six of the top 24 times in the 100 breaststroke.
“Lindsey swam a strong race in a tough field,” NCMP head coach Sarah Patterson said. “Swimming is not an easy sport —times rule the pool at this point. She is a bit off from where she was last year, but as her coach, I am proud of her for fighting all season long to lower her times.
Despite just one state qualifier on Saturday, NCMP’s Aquagirls had a strong regional meet, finishing fourth as a team with 222 points. Top-ranked Ames dominated with 583 points followed by Johnston with 407 points and Des Moines Roosevelt in third with 286 points.
Mason City was fifth with 211 followed by Boone with 139, Des Moines East with 122, Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln with 66 points and Des Moines Hoover with 30 points. NCMP scored team points in every swimming event.
“We were hoping to get third as a team, but Roosevelt ended up getting that spot. They had three divers so that was tough right off the bat. Fourth place is still very good — especially at our regional,” Patterson said.
The Aquagirls’ made the regional podium in six events including the 200 medley relay, the 200 freestyle relay, the 400 freestyle relay. Blommers was fourth in the 50 freestyle in 25.73 seconds and junior Alex Inskeep placed sixth in the 200 freestyle race in 2:06.01.
“All of our relays did well. Every single girl threw in good splits, so I can’t be disappointed,” Patterson said. “Alex had an outstanding meet.”
NCMP opened the regional with a third-place finish in the 200 medley relay. The team of junior Lakin Jenkins, Blommers, freshman Makenna Brooks and senior Jaclyn Michener posted a time of 1:55.32.
Blommers and Inskeep combined with Michener and senior Jessica Zahn for fifth in the 200 freestyle relay race in 1:44.51. Zahn, Jenkins and Inskeep were joined by freshman Natalie Boll to place fifth in the 400 freestyle relay in 3:52.63 to close out the meet.
Four seniors wrapped up their NCMP swimming career at the regional meet. Michener and Zahn earned two relay medals. Zahn was ninth in the 200 freestyle in 2:07.75 and ninth in the 500 freestyle in 5:45.83. Michener took 16th in the 50 freestyle in 27.50 seconds.
Senior Julia Prime placed 18th in the 100 backstroke in 1:11.00. Senior Briahna Teague was 19th in the 100 breaststroke in 1:23.88.
“All of the seniors had good meets. Jessica went out on a super high, notching best times in both the 200 and 500 freestyle. I loved watching her get excited to swim this meet. Jaclyn posted two fast splits in the 50 freestyle and was an asset in the sprints all season,” Patterson said. “ Julia ended her career with a personal best in the 100 backstroke as did Briahna Teague in the 100 breaststroke.”
Jenkins and Inskeep made bids for the podium in the 100 freestyle with Jenkins taking seventh in 57.37 and Inskeep touching eighth in 57.94 seconds. Sophomore Erika Van Sickle was 13th in 59.84.
In the 100 backstroke, Jenkins finished eighth in 1:04.39 and junior Rachel Boll was 15th in 1:08.37. Sophomore Allison Paulius was ninth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:14.36 and 10th in the 200 individual medley in 2:32.04.
Jenkins had personal-best times in both the freestyle and backstroke races.
Also in the 200 IM, sophomore Courtney Dawson and freshman Arabella Eide went 17th and 18th, respectively, in 2:40.25 and 2:40.36. Natalie Boll was 11th in the 500 freestyle in 5:54.32 and Dawson was 16th in 6:10.92.
Brooks placed 12th in the 100 butterfly in 1:06.87 with freshman Chloe Kibbee in 17th at 1:10.99 and sophomore Abbie Hill in 20th at 1:13.04. Natalie Boll was 13th in the 200 freestyle in 2:13.25 and Rachel Boll was 17th in the 50 freestyle in 27.54 seconds.
Patterson said the younger swimmers had a tremendous regional with a lot of dropped times in their individual races.
Blommers will compete in the 2017 Iowa Girls State Swimming and Diving Meet on Saturday. The swim meet begins at noon at the Marshalltown YMCA/YWCA.
Contact Jocelyn Sheets at 641-792-3121 ext. 6535 or firstname.lastname@example.org