The championship season hits full throttle Saturday as teams from across the state compete in regional swim action. State berths and regional championships are on the line. Diving portion will be held Thursday at the various sites, beginning at 5 p.m. and swimming events start at noon Saturday.
The Cedar Rapids/Marion Metro hosts a regional at Cedar Rapids Washington. All but one of the Metro teams will battle it out with Fairfield, Tipton, Vinton-Shellsburg and Waterloo East. Cedar Rapids Kennedy has been the top team in the Metro, placing ahead of the rest at the Cougar Invitational and Mississippi Valley Conference meet and (I believe) in head-to-head duals.
The Cougars have done it without an individual standout and major point scorer. Instead, they’ve exemplified the team concept and have had success. That’s not entirely true, Kennedy has regained diving prominence in the area thanks to first-year diver Savannah Schott and two-time state qualifier Liz Hayes. Schott, who began diving when she ended her gymnastics career, has been a quick study, already trying dives with a 2.5 degree of difficulty. Less than three months into diving, Schott, who has received interest from college programs, won the MVC meet.
Linn-Mar, led by talented sophomore Emilie Berg, should give the Cougars their biggest challenge with Cedar Rapids Washington in the mix as well. I say that while adding I do not know the strength of Fairfield.
Cedar Rapids Xavier is the lone Metro school forced to travel. The Saints join Iowa City High and Iowa City West at Muscatine. West, which would be a title contender at Washington, will have its hands full with Bettendorf, which sits at #2 in the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Power Rankings. The Women of Troy are led by multiple state medalist Grace Murray, who should battle longtime friend/rival Beth Eyanson of City High in the 100 butterfly.
One of the more interesting team battles will be at Dubuque Hempstead, where Cedar Falls and Decorah should be an interesting battle between two teams that very well could end up as top 5 at state. The Vikings are led by Hannah Maher, who placed third in two individual events at last year’s state meet. Bailey Pons is a standout for the Tigers.
Remember, each regional champion and the state’s 18 next fastest times in swimming competition Saturday qualify for the state meet Nov. 5 at the Marshalltown YMCA. The top four divers from each regional, plus the next best 12 scorers of all regionals qualify for the state meet Nov. 4 at Marshalltown YMCA.
Here are the complete regional assignments:
AT CEDAR RAPIDS WASHINGTON
Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Cedar Rapids Prairie/Williamsburg, Cedar Rapids Washington, Fairfield, Linn-Mar, Tipton, Vinton-Shellsburg, Waterloo East
AT DUBUQUE HEMPSTEAD
Charles City, Cedar Falls, Clinton, Davenport North, Decorah, Dubuque Hempstead, Dubuque Wahlert, Dubuque Senior, Waterloo West
Bettendorf, Burlington, Cedar Rapids Xavier, Davenport Central, Davenport West, Iowa City High, Iowa City West, Keokuk, Muscatine, Pleasant Valley
AT FORT DODGE
Algona, Ames, Boone, Fort Dodge, Mason City, Sioux City East, Sioux City Metro, Spencer, Storm Lake
(Summit Middle School)
Ankeny, Des Moines East, Des Moines Hoover, Des Moines North, Des Moines Roosevelt, Grinnell, Johnston, Marshalltown, Newton
AT WEST DES MOINES VALLEY
Carroll, Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln, Council Bluffs Lewis Central, Des Moines Lincoln, Indianola, Perry, Southeast Polk, West Des Moines Dowling, West Des Moines Valley
100 butterfly, Bailey Pons, Beth Eyanson, Bettendorf, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Cedar Rapids Prairie/Williamsburg, Cedar Rapids Washington, Cedar Rapids Xavier, champions, Cougars, Decorah, diving, Dubuque Hempstead, Emilie Berg, Fairfield, Grace Murray, Hannah Maher, IGHSAU, Iowa City High, Iowa City West, Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, Linn-Mar, Liz Hayes, Marion, Marshalltown YMCA, medalist, Metro, Muscatine, regional meets, Savannah Schott, state meet, Swimming, Tigers, Vikings, Vinton-Shellsburg, Waterloo East, Women of Troy