December 09, 2021

NCMP finishes second at NCC meet

Aquagirls win five events, claim runner-up honors in Marshalltown

MARSHALLTOWN — The Newton-Colfax-Mingo-Pella girls swim team won five events, moved into the top 25 of the state rankings in four of them and placed second overall in the North Central Conference meet at the Marshalltown YMCA on Saturday.

Three of the five wins came in individual races and the Aquagirls claimed wins in the two freestyle relays, but Decorah won the conference championship with 439 points.

NCMP scored 386 points in second, distancing itself by 164 points of third place Boone.

“Hats off to the team champs, Decorah,  who swam really well and pushed our girls to great swims,” NCMP coach Sarah Patterson said. “What a great way to end our regular season meet schedule.”

The team standings went right in line with the power rankings with No. 14 Decorah and No. 19 NCMP holding down the top two spots.

No. 29 Boone was third with 222 points followed by No. 36 Grinnell/BGM (137), No. 39 Vinton-Shellsburg (135), No. 44 Williamsburg (39) and No. 48 Oskaloosa (27).

Decorah, Grinnell/BGM and Boone all scored points in diving. The Vikings had a 29-point advantage in diving over the Aquagirls.

The 200- and 400-yard freestyle relay teams both set season-best times in climbing to 11th in the state.

The 200 freestyle relay team of Alexa Heiar, Lillie Ray, Maggie Garrett and Hannah Nedder won the race in a season-best time of 1 minute, 42.66 seconds. NCMP’s second team of Peyton Ray, Grace Benson, Paige Benson and Lauren Zaabel finished fourth in 1:49.58.

The 400 freestyle relay team of Nedder, Peyton Ray, Lillie Ray and Maylei Ruggles won the race in a season-best time of 3:44.19. The second team of Garrett, Paige Benson, Alex Riney and Zaabel were fourth in 4:01.89.

“Our 200 and 400 freestyle relays were outstanding, taking the wins and moving up in the state rankings,” Patterson said. “Lillie Ray threw in an amazing third leg on the 400 relay, splitting a 55.22 and gaining the lead and Hannah led the relay off with a blistering 54.88. I know this squad still has time to drop.”

In the 200 medley relay, the Aquagirls went 2-5. The runner-up team included Ruggles, Heiar, Nedder and Garrett and they finished in 1:56.28. The team of Riney, Grace Benson, Paige Benson and Lillie Ray were fourth in 2:02.46.

The three individual winners were Nedder in the 100 butterfly, Ruggles in the 100 backstroke and Heiar in the 100 breaststroke.

“Hannah Nedder is now a double conference champ in the 100 fly as is Alexa Heiar in the 100 breaststroke,” Patterson said. “They are good friends and it’s fun to see them encourage each other. They both posted season-best times, and that was fun to see.

“Maylei Ruggles had another outstanding meet. She has found her momentum.”

Nedder now ranks 13th in the 100 butterfly after posting a season-best time of 59.29 seconds. Ruggles was third in the event in a season-best 1:04.67 and Paige Benson placed sixth in 1:10.87.

Ruggles won the 100 backstroke in a season-best 1:05.43. Riney finished third in a season-best 1:07.21 and Addison Van Maanen took sixth in a season-best 1:09.11.

In the 100 breaststroke, Heiar won the race in 1:10.33. It was a season-best time by 3 seconds and she’s now 22nd in the state. Grace Benson was third in a season-best 1:15.88.

The Aquagirls were third in four events total. The other third-place finish was Riney in the 200 individual medley. She finished in a season-best 2:28.11 and Van Maanen was fifth in a season-best 2:33.61.

“Alex Riney and Addison Van Maanen both did well in the IM and the 100 back — and they’re just freshmen,” Patterson said. “Peyton Ray continues to look strong in the 200 freestyle and our sprinters — Maggie Garrett, Lillie Ray and Alexa Heiar — are just hitting their strides.”

Peyton Ray was fourth in the 200 freestyle and Lillie Ray took fourth in the 50 freestyle.

Peyton Ray finished in a season-best 2:08.87 and Zaabel was sixth in a season-best 2:13.53. Lillie Ray was fourth in the 50 freestyle with a season-best time of 26.01 and Heiar finished fifth in a season-best 26.08.

Peyton Ray also was fifth in the 100 freestyle, finishing in a season-best 58.55.

Anna DeVries and Avery Meyer were 5-6 in the 500 freestyle. DeVries posted a season-best time of 6:07.96 and Meyer finished in a season-best 6:10.81.

“All of our 500 swimmers had time drops and season or personal-best times,” Patterson said. “Senior Dani Dalasta was 1 second from her personal best and looked great. She works so hard and it’s fun to see that hard work pay off.”

Next up for the Aquagirls is the district meet at the DMACC campus Trail Point Aquatic Center at noon on Nov. 6 in Ankeny.

“Our team goal is to place second,” Patterson said. “We will graduate 13 seniors this year which will be hard, but the future looks bright.”