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Blommers honing tempo for state

Published: Friday, Nov. 3, 2017 9:59 a.m. CST • Updated: Friday, Nov. 3, 2017 10:49 a.m. CST
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(Jocelyn Sheets/Daily News)
Lindsey Blommers qualified for her second consecutive Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union state swim meet in the 100-yard breaststroke. Blommers is a junior on the NCMP Aquagirls’ swim team, and holds the team’s records in the 100-yard and 100-meter breaststroke events. She earned a fifth-place medal in the state breaststroke race as a sophomore.

Tempo is an important part of competitive swimming. Never more true than in the breaststroke.

“I’m working on my tempo this week. We’re focused on me having a faster, quicker tempo in my first 25 yards and keeping it,” NCMP junior Lindsey Blommers said. “My last 50 is definitely my fastest. The goal is to stay with people early and come on strong at the end.”

Blommers prepares for her second straight state swim meet this week. Blommers, who holds the NCMP Aquagirls’ breaststroke records, will compete in the 100-yard breaststroke event at the 2017 Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union State Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday in Marshalltown.

The IGHSAU State Diving and Swimming Championship meet is at the Marshalltown YMCA/YWCA.

The state diving is at 5 p.m. Friday with doors opening to the public at 4 p.m. The state swimming events begin at noon Saturday with the doors opening to the public at 11 a.m.

Blommers qualified for the state meet with a season’s-best time of 1 minute, 7.45 seconds for fourth in last week’s regional race at Johnston. Six swimmers from the Johnston regional breaststroke event advanced into the 24-swimmer field at state.

“It was a tough regional with Ames in it. Lindsey had a good race,” NCMP head coach Sarah Patterson said. “I know it wasn’t the time she wanted but it was her best this season. Swimming is a challenging sport because you are constantly competing with the clock. I’m proud of how Lindsey persevered and is caring on the Aquagirl legacy of qualifying for state.”

With Patterson as head coach, the Aquagirls have qualified swimmers for the state swim meet for 25 straight years. Blommers has the 12th-fastest time going into the state meet this season after have the top time a year ago — a team record 1:04.61.

“I had a solid swim at regional. This season has been a lot harder for me to get my times down. I’ve plateaued this season which is normal for swimmers after hitting a fast time,” Blommers said. “Last year it seemed every time I swam, it went down.”

Blommers said she’s posted more consistent times this season, but did not see a lot of drop in time in the breaststroke. She said she just pushed through it and knew she’d just work harder in practices.

“I’m glad I’m going to state and representing my team again. Last year, I was under a lot of pressure as the No. 1 time going into state and it was my first time at state,” Blommers said.”This year it’s about being more relaxed and enjoying myself. I’ll be able to focus on my individual race.”

Blommers said she likes where she is positioned in the state breaststroke heat races. She is in the second of three heats in Lane 6. There are seven swimmers who have seeding times of 1:07.45 to 1:07.96 and they are all in the same heat.

“It’s a good lane. The people I’m swimming with in the heat will provide good competition,” Blommers said.

Blommers finished fifth at state a year ago. Junior Molly Winer of Ames, who has the fastest time in the event going into state at 1:03.49, was sixth. Blommers said the two have been swimming against each other in high school and club meets for awhile.

Blommers began swimming when she was 8, but really didn’t get into competitive swimming until she reached middle school. She swims for NCMP during the fall then competes in club meets over the winter and summer seasons. Blommers said she competes in track and field for Pella High School in the spring.

“Lindsey is taking the training very seriously this week, even thought it’s just her. It’s been great to watch her focused on what she needs to do,” Patterson said. “Lindsey’s a very intuitive athlete so it’s easy to make workouts for her and know she’ll do her best. We’re working on her improvement this week and see her go even faster Saturday.”

Patterson said Blommers not only had a good season in the breaststroke this year but excelled in the 50 freestyle and the 200 individual medley events. She said Blommers’ breaststroke prowess is key to the NCMP medley relay.

“Swimming in the second heat is a great place for her to be at state. I’d rather have her in the middle of Heat 2 than on the outside in the final heat,” Patterson said. “She’ll be racing not chasing because all of those swimmers are close to her time.”

Patterson gave over the coaching reins to assistant Jenny Jensen for the state meet because of an out-of-state family commitment. Jensen is a former NCMP swimmer and has been the team’s assistant coach the past two seasons.

Fans have the ability to purchase tickets in advance and online with GoFan Digital Huddle Tickets for both sessions of the meet. Tickets are now on sale by clicking on the GoFan website. By ordering tickets online, your state swimming and diving tickets are delivered to your mobile device and validated onsite at the Marshalltown YMCA/YWCA.

Online tickets for Saturday’s swim meet will be validated beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the YMCA/YWCA gymnasium entrance. Fans may purchase up to eight tickets on their mobile device. Tickets for each session are $10, plus a $1.50 handling fee.

If fans wish to purchase tickets at the Marshalltown YMCA/YWCA, they will go on sale at the north entrance of the Marshalltown YMCA/YWCA at 11 a.m.

The 2017 Swimming and Diving Meet will be streamed live. A link to the streaming site will be posted on the IGHSAU website — ighsau.org.

Contact Jocelyn Sheets at 641-792-3121 ext. 6535 or jsheets@newtondailynews.com

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