By Taylor Rasmussen, The Gazette
CEDAR RAPIDS — In an event packed with ranked teams from across the state, Iowa City West ran away and hid from the rest of the area teams Saturday at the Cougar Invitational swimming and diving meet at Kennedy High School.
West placed third overall with 423.50 points, 72.5 behind champion Cedar Falls but 131 ahead of the fourth-place host Cougars. Linn-Mar and Iowa City High finished fifth and sixth with 225 and 121, respectively.
Decorah was seventh, Cedar Rapids Jefferson ninth and Williamsburg 11th.
“I thought our girls performed at the level where we want them to be (performing at),” said West Coach Rob Miecznikowski. “They are not backing off from races. They are not quitting when it gets close. We have just really seen some outstanding competitive swims.”
The meet featured some of the state’s best swimmers, including two of the Metro’s standout freshmen.
Linn-Mar’s Jenn Jenks, ranked high in the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyle races, won the 50 and 100 free Saturday in 24.84 and 53.47 seconds, respectively. Jefferson’s Kelsey Drake won the 100 butterfly, where she ranked first in the state, in 57.7 seconds and also captured the 200 individual medley.
Jenks set a meet record in the 100 free and Drake did the same in the butterfly, also breaking the pool record.
“There are a lot of swimmers here who are in the top two slots of their events,” said West’s Lillian Zhu, who won the 200 backstroke and finished second to Drake in the 100 fly. “It was a really good meet and I am glad we came this year.”
West’s only other winner Saturday was Jacintha Thomas, who scored a meet-record 486 points to win the diving. The Women of Troy, however, also finished second in the 400 free relay and third in the 200 medley relay. Zhu was part of both events.
City High’s Lizzie Brown won the 100 breaststroke in 1:06.97.
The Women of Troy get another crack at Cedar Falls Tuesday in a dual at the Coralville Recreation Center.