The Bobcats were as close to full strength as they've been all season, but it still was not enough to unseat a higher ranked Newton/Colfax-Mingo/Pella girls' swimming team in Tuesday's non-conference dual meet.
Marshalltown welcomed the return of junior Hayley Lillibridge to its lineup and she did not disappoint, but the Bobcats came up just short of their neighbors to the south, 95-88, at the MHS pool.
Lillibridge won the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events in her first meet of the season, but the visiting Aquagirls claimed seven of 12 event victories to outscore MHS. The Bobcats, listed 23rd in the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union power rankings, gave No. 13 Newton (7-0) a worthy challenge.
Carly Colville, a junior, claimed two individual events (50 freestyle, 100 backstroke) and anchored a pair of winning relays for Newton, which does not have diving.
Marshalltown's 1-2-3 sweep provided by Phoebe Lynk, Kathleen McHenry and Sabrina Price gave the Bobcats the only lead they had during the dual, 38-37, but the Aquagirls were quick to regain it.
Newton notched wins in the 100 butterfly and 100 freestyle to bring the lead back to 11 until Lillibridge led a 1-3-4 finish for the Bobcats in the 500 free. Janet and Melisa Fonseca helped MHS climb back to within 64-59 on the team scoreboard.
Newton 95, Marshalltown 88
(Champion plus MHS placewinners)
200 MEDLEY RELAY - 1. NWT (Jenkins, Hedrick, Scotton, Colville) 1:57.71; 2. MHS (Kuehner, Hannam, Kuhlman, Barkema) 1:59.81.
200 FREESTYLE - 1. Hayley Lillibridge, MHS, 2:05.53; 4. Melisa Fonseca, MHS, 2:14.90; 5. Maggie Carnahan, MHS, 2:17.86.
200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY - 1. Chloe Kuehner, MHS, 2:22.29; 4. Therese Kuhlman, MHS, 2:27.35.
50 FREESTYLE - 1. Carly Colville, NWT, 25.92; 3. Leah Barkema, MHS, 26.82; 5. Darc Vopava, MHS, 28.15.
DIVING - 1. Phoebe Lynk, MHS, 192.50; 2. Kathleen McHenry, MHS, 175.80; 3. Sabrina Price, MHS, 132.45.
100 BUTTERFLY - 1. Samantha Hedrick, NWT, 1:00.58; 2. Kuhlman, MHS, 1:06.37; 5. Brianna Reynolds, MHS, 1:19.89.
100 FREESTYLE - 1. Hannah Scotton, NWT, 57.97; 3. Carnahan, MHS, 1:00.48; 4. Alexis Schneider, MHS, 1:01.89.
500 FREESTYLE - 1. Lillibridge, MHS, 5:45.84; 3. Janet Fonseca, MHS, 6:07.47; 4. Melisa Fonseca, MHS, 6:08.24.
200 FREESTYLE RELAY - 1. NWT (Scotton, Martin, Jenkins, Hedrick) 1:44.95; 2. MHS (Lillibridge, Hannam, Vopava, Hala) 1:52.00; 3. MHS (Schneider, M.Fonseca, J.Fonseca, McKown) 1:53.79.
100 BACKSTROKE - 1. Colville, NWT, 1:05.99; 2. Barkema, MHS, 1:06.71; 3. Reynolds, MHS, 1:12.54; 5. Ashley Hala, MHS, 1:16.28.
100 BREASTSTROKE - 1. Kuehner, MHS, 1:11.60; 3. Hannam, MHS, 1:14.31.
400 FREESTYLE RELAY - 1. NWT (Prendergast, Griffith, Martin, Colville) 3:51.89; 2. MHS (Lillibridge, Kuhlman, Barkema, Kuehner) 3:52.93; 3. MHS (M.Fonseca, Carnahan, J.Fonseca, Schneider) 4:07.15.
The Aquagirls won three of the last four events, however, to hold off Marshalltown.
Bobcat junior Chloe Kuehner won the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke to buoy Marshalltown's hopes of an upset. She also swam as a part of two runner-up relays, the last of which needed a win to unseat Newton from its lead in the meet.
The NCMP foursome of Rachel Prendergast, Sidney Griffith, Sara Martin and Colville finished atop the 400 freestyle relay in 3:51.89, with Lillibridge, Therese Kuhlman, Leah Barkema and Kuehner close behind in 3:52.93.
The Bobcats return to the pool for their fifth straight home event next Tuesday when they host Fort Dodge at 5:30 p.m.