Strokin’s to State: Men’s swim team finishes first at Districts

By Jakob Zierer 2009

After getting second at the MVC Conference Meet, the last stop before State was Districts on Saturday, Feb. 2.

Winning the Districts is a confidence builder and will help us as we prepare for State, Dick Marcussen, coach of the CFHS swim team, said.

The meet started at 12:30 at the Bobcats pool, and the Tigers started strong by getting second in the 200 Medley Relay (1:40.65minutes).

The taper worked and times were dropped. Therefore the team was fired up for the upcoming events.

“A lot of people dropped their times from their life time best. Everyone was excited for the next events,” Brian Verink, ’08 state qualifier, said.

But the team goal to win Districts was in danger when Iowa City High started making the big points in events where the Tigers were not, or were only barely, represented.

The Little Hawks passed the Tigers after event 7 (500-yard freestyle), and the scoreboard showed the alarming truth: Iowa City High 1st, Cedar Falls 2nd.

But no one forgot the goal to win Districts, and everyone worked hard to get important points for the team.

The coaches and parents had to be satisfied because 99 percent of the swimmers improved, Marcussen said.

After event 10 (110-yard Breaststroke), the Tigers passed the Little Hawks, and the scoreboard told the spectators and the teams that Cedar Falls had to finish at least fourth in the 400-freestyle relay to win Districts.

After 3:23.89minutes, the relay team finished third and brought the victory home to Cedar Falls.

Cedar Falls (276) won Districts and outpaced Iowa City High (255), Marshalltown High School (244), Iowa City, West (156), Grinnell/BGM (152), Waterloo West (87) and Waterloo East (14).

Coach Marcussen said he is pleased with the results and is looking forward to State.

“I believe we finally got back to swimming as a team. This season will be a success if we finish at State with a high finish, he said.

Verink agreed. “I think it went really well and we got first, so that’s perfect.”

State, the last upcoming event in the swim season, takes place on Feb. 9.

Everyone is excited, especially senior and ’08 state-qualifier Andy Peck.

“It’s always exciting going into State, but this year seems a little special because it’s my senior year,” he said after Districts.

He is enjoying his last high school swim season and has his goals for State set.

“This season has seemed to fly by. We’ve all worked hard, and now it’s time to really enjoy it. My goal for State is just to swim best times. If I place good, great, but the most important thing is always times,” he said.

Verink made it to State in 2006 and 2007, and his goal now is to rank as high as possible in the 500 free. He also hopes to make it to the award podium in the 200 IM (Individual Medley) and ensure all three relays do well.

Before State, every swimmer has his own preparation and his own habits, and also the workouts changed a lot.

“Our workouts have changed from quantity to quality: rest, diet, mental attitude, visualizing, hydrating and more are essential to performing at 110 percent on State day,” Marcussen said.

While Verink is working the week before State on his strokes and technique, Peck is enjoying the taper.

“I usually only taper three times a year, and it’s always my favorite part of the season,” he said.

“The last week before State is always an exciting time for the team,” Marcussen said. “We can now figure out what it’s going to take to place high at State. We are looking at a top five finish, but if we really step up to the plate it could be top 3.”

The CFHS swim team qualified in the 200-yard medley relay, 200-yard freestyle relay and 400-yard freestyle relay. Individual state qualifiers are Austin Abbas (200-yard IM, 100-yard backstroke), Brian Verink (200-yard IM, 500-yard freestyle) and Andy Peck (50-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke).

After State, Coach Marcussen, who returned this season from a one-year break, would like to continue coaching the CFHS swim team.

“As for my job as coach, I would like to continue because I see a great future for this team and because I just enjoy coaching and the challenge, he said. There will be a day when the Administration will say, ‘Enough is enough. It’s time,’ but for now, I’m having great time.”

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.