The CIML Iowa Conference Era in girls' swimming lives on and there's a new team at the top.
Ames captured the first state team title in school history Saturday at the Iowa Girls High School State Swimming & Diving Championships.
The Little Cyclones amassed 293 points by winning four events.
T-R PHOTO BY MARK PAWLAK
Maddie Bro of Ames, left, reacts toward teammate Taylor Flummerfelt after the times of the 50-yard freestyle were posted during the Iowa Girls High School State Swimming & Diving Championships. The two Little Cyclones tied for first place in the event Saturday as Ames went on to win the team title at the Marshalltown Community Y.
"I'm ecstatic for all our kids. It's the first time we've done this in the history of Ames," said Little Cyclones head coach Dan Flannery as his team celebrated on the pool deck at the Community Y. "It hasn't quite hit me yet. It was a lot of fun today, hopefully we get to do it some more soon."
Ames was joined by CIML Iowa members West Des Moines Valley (second, 213) and Mason City (fourth, 170) for a three-pack of conference schools in the top four.
The conference put four teams in the top 10 last season, has placed two in the top three for five straight championships and won six consecutive team crowns.
Team Standings - 1. Ames 293, 2. West Des Moines Valley 213, 3. Bettendorf 209, 4. Mason City 170, 5. Dowling Catholic 147, 6. Decorah 140.5, 7. Carroll 126, 8. Pleasant Valley 100, 9. (tie) Des Moines Roosevelt; Iowa City West 93. Also: 36. Marshalltown 2.
Diving - Dahlia Gordon, Johnston
200 medley relay - Ames
200 freestyle - Juanita Barreto, West Des Moines Valley
200 individual medley - Allison Orvis, Decorah
50 freestyle - (tie) Maddie Bro & Taylor Flummerfelt, Ames
100 butterfly - Caitlin Campbell, Bettendorf
100 freestyle - Barreto, Valley
500 freestyle - Margaret Barber, Bettendorf
200 freestyle relay - Carroll
100 backstroke - Bro, Ames
100 breaststroke - Ali Stearns, Mason City
400 freestyle relay - Ames
"It toughens you up," Flannery said of competing in the conference.
"It's one thing to say we have a great conference, but it makes us all a little bit better at the end of the year," he added. "Not having that fear, that anxiety, because you see them throughout the year, once, twice, three times, it's a great thing."
The best prior finish for Ames was a runner-up showing in 1973.
The second tie for first place in an event in state meet history occurred Saturday as Little Cyclone teammates junior Maddie Bro and sophomore Taylor Flummerfelt both had times of 24.18 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle
Bro ended up with four golds on the day and was named the state's Athlete of the Year. She repeated in the 100 backstroke as she was the first to break 56 seconds in Iowa high school history with her 55.87 clocking.
"She could have had a better finish in the 50 free and she made up for it in the 100 back," Flannery said. "She was completed focused, she had a long wait until then. Breaking the 56-barrier is a huge feat."
Ames won a relay at the state meet for the first time since 1974 as the group of Bro, Sydney Sorenson, Lauren Rosser and Flummerfelt claimed the 200 medley relay. The Little Cyclones set the state meet record in the event with their 1:46.67.
After having a pair of scorers in Friday's diving and winning the 200 medley, Ames was leading the team standings and kept pouring it on.
The Little Cyclones brought 21 entries to Marshalltown and scored in every event.
"We scored in every event," Flannery said. "To me that's a team effort and that's the reason we're probably on top."
Ames closed out the meet by winning the 400 freestyle relay - Hannah Newell, Flummerfelt, Rachel Shriver and Bro in 3:33.01.
Many of its top scorers return to the 2011 Ames squad, but Saturday was all about sending its seniors out in style.
"It was a special day for our seniors, without a doubt," Flannery said.
Valley senior Juanita Barreto was a two-time champion. She set the all-time Iowa mark in the 100 freestyle (51.46) after earlier winning the 200 freestyle (1:51.35) with the No. 2 all-time performance in Iowa high school girls' swimming.
The CIML Iowa Conference combined for seven crowns out of 11 events on the day with the addition of Ali Stearns of Mason City taking first in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.63).
Bettendorf's Caitlin Campbell won the 100 butterfly for the second time in her career, turning in a clocking of 57.32.
Decorah (Allison Orvis in the 200 individual medley) and Carroll (200 freestyle relay) both won an event at the state meet for the first time in program history.