Swimmers power through Regionals, qualify nine to State

Ben Olson/Sports Editor

At Regionals this past Saturday, Oct. 31, the women’s swim team went head to head with Decorah, winning 467.5-404, to battle for spots at the upcoming state championships taking place on Saturday, Nov. 7 at the Marshalltown Y. With only the top 24 swimmers in each event statewide advancing to State, the pressure was on.

Seven swimmers and two divers ended up qualifying to represent Cedar Falls – a fair number, but not exactly what head coach Dick Marcussen was expecting. Unfortunately, illness affected the Tigers as well as many other teams.

“We would have liked to have qualified a few more girls, but we had a lot of people sick. I just wish we would have swum better. The sickness slowed us down,” Marcussen said. “We’ll take all that we can get next Saturday. We’re all disappointed, but sickness is out of our control at this point.”
Senior Bailey Pons affirmed the mixed emotions from Regionals.

“We’re happy with our team finish ahead of Decorah, but we’re disappointed because a few swimmers barely missed the state cutoff times,” Pons said.
The state diving meet will take place on Friday, Nov. 6 with junior Lauren Halloran and senior Alea Pollock diving for the Tigers.
The next day, the swimmers will compete, including senior Ashlee Graham, Pons, sophomore Kelsey Abbas, sophomore Montana Clasby and sophomore Alesha Rettenmeier for Cedar Falls.

After placing second last year at the state meet, the team still has high goals this year despite the inconvenient poor health.

“I know that if we swim better than we did [at Regionals] then we will be in the top five at least. I would like to see a top three finish as a team and to see the senior swimmers have their best meet. I want everyone to give 110 percent and leave with no regrets,” Marcussen said.

Pons also has some very ambitious goals and knows what it will take for the entire team to do well at state.

“I personally want to win both of my events [the 200 and 500 freestyle] in state record times. As a team, we know what we’re up against, and we have to think positively and stay focused if we want to win State,” Pons said.

Overall, Marcussen said he believes that last minute preparations and adaptability will be the key to the team’s success at State.

“We need to get everyone healthy and ready to go. At Regionals the times weren’t what I liked, but hopefully at a different pool things will look up. You can’t control the time, place or other teams,” Marcussen said. “What it comes down to is a team effort. Period. Everyone needs to feel that their effort is important. Swimming is an individual sport, but there is a team effort involved.”

The state diving meet starts at 5 p.m. on Friday with swimming at noon on Saturday.

Class of 2014

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