Marshalltown swim coach Angie Nelson knew it would be tough to challenge some of the best teams in the CIML this season.
That would prove to be true Tuesday night as the Bobcats swam in their home opener against powerhouse West Des Moines Valley and came away with three wins but lost to the Tigers, 132-54, in the MHS pool.
"It was a pretty solid home opener," Nelson said. "We knew the score would be lopsided - it's Valley. They are a strong team and a contender for the state title. But we raced well. We had some fantastic times, and that's a great place to be at this point in the season."
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
MHS junior Therese Kuhlman was victorious in the 100-yard butterfly Tuesday in the Bobcats’ home opener against Valley. Kuhlman won her race by more than 4 seconds and also was second in the 200 individual medley.
Three juniors claimed first-place finishes on the night. Chloe Kuehner won the 100-yard breaststroke, Therese Kuhlman claimed the title in the 100 butterfly and Leah Barkema was victorious in the 100 freestyle.
Kuehner and Kuhlman both won their races by about four seconds. Kuehner stopped the clock in the 100 breaststroke in 1 minute, 12.98 seconds, while Kuhlman hit the wall in 1:06.05.
Barkema's win was much closer as she just had enough to beat out Valley's Chloe Stewart in 0.07 seconds in what turned out to be the most exciting race and finish of the night.
Kuehner and Kuhlman also grabbed second-place finishes. Kuhlman was second in the 200 IM as she hit the wall in 2:28.48. Kuehner grabbed second in the 500 freestyle, stopping the clock at 5:43.85.
"Therese had a two-second drop and a lifetime best time in the IM," Nelson said. "Chloe had an awesome lead-off leg in the medley relay and put together two strong races in the breaststroke and 500 freestlye."
Marshalltown claimed third-place finishes in all three relays against Valley.
The 200 medley relay team featured Kuehner, Emily Barske, Kuhlman and Darc Vopava and the foursome hit the wall in 2:05.29. The winning time was 2:00.53.
The 200 freestyle relay consisted of Barkema, Vopava, Melisa Fonseca and Alexis Schneider. That team stopped the clock in 1:52.36.
The 400 freestyle relay included Barkema, Maggie Carnahan, Kuhlman and Kuehner and that group was around 11 seconds slower than the first place team Valley swam. The Bobcats' finishing time was 4:02.84.
"It was great racing, even though the score doesn't show it," Nelson said. "It is a good place to be going into the next few weeks."
The junior varsity team also lost to Valley on Tuesday. The Tigers won the head-to-head competition, 135-43.
The Bobcats are off until Sept. 6 when they travel to Cedar Rapids Washington. That dual is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.