Bobcats hang with Mason City

Mohawks take Marshalltown’s best shot on Senior Night at MHS

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING • Marshalltown swimmer Gage Petty swims a length of the 200-yard freestyle against Mason City on Thursday at Marshalltown High School. Petty won the race in 1 minute, 57.15 seconds, setting a season-best time in the process, but Mason City topped the Bobcats 92-78.

Coming off what Bobcat coach Mike Loupee called a spotty performance at Indianola Tuesday, the Marshalltown boys’ swim team responded with one of its better performances of the season on Thursday. It wasn’t enough to make a difference in the team results, as MHS fell 92-78 to Mason City in the Bobcats’ home finale, but that wasn’t what Loupee was focusing on.

The Bobcats bounced back with fire and passion, winning six of the 11 events, and posted 46 season-best times and 14 lifetime-bests, in a meet that ended up being closer than the Bobcats anticipated.

“I am very pleased,” Loupee said. “Coach (Sam) Backstrom and I are excited. We swam flat and without a lot of heart on Tuesday. Before (Thursday’s) meet, we talked about being a competitive team and enjoying the competition, getting out and doing your best. At one of the breaks, I told them, ‘This is the team that I know.’ They were fired up. They competed. The PBs and the LTBs speak for themselves. We found ourselves in a meet. This was a lot closer than we anticipated. We gave Mason City everything they could handle.”

The Bobcats jumped out early and picked up a win in the first event of the night. The 200-yard medley relay made up of Coert Groff, Nick Summers, Caleb Summers and Brad Barkema finished in an even 1 minute, 57 seconds.

Gage Petty won the next race, the 200 freestyle in 1:57.15, posting a season-best to go with the victory. Loupee said Petty’s win was big, but just as big was Carson Beals finishing third in the race in 2:00.13 to collect key points for the Bobcats. Beals edged out Mason City’s Thomas Rowe (2:00.98), and was less than a second off of Mohawk swimmer Ben Hehr (1:59.16).

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING • Marshalltown swimmer Carson Beals swims a part of the 400-yard freestyle relay against Mason City Thursday at Marshalltown High School. The relay won the race, finishing in a season-best time of 3 minutes, 32.77 seconds.

“Carson came up big going two flat,” Loupee said. “He’s a freshman, and he’s never swam the event before. The 200 is one you have to have some experience at. For him to go two flat his first time in, and he raced that kid next to him and out-touched him, he did a great job there.”

Also coming up big for Marshalltown was Ryne Downey. The sophomore brought home wins in the 50 freestyle, as well as the 100 freestyle. Downey won the 50 in 23.33 seconds, and was just .01 off of tying his season best. Posting season-bests in the 50 were Barkema (24.88), who finished third and Caleb Summers (25.14), who took fifth.

Downey touched the wall in 53.20 to claim the 100, finishing nine-hundredths ahead of Kyle Younker. Downey was also part of the final two Bobcat victories, the 200 and 400 freestyle relays. Both relays marked season-bests Thursday. The 200 relay of Downey, Beals, Petty and Pom Pinitchan finished in 1:35.89, just .15 ahead of Mason City’s best relay. The 400 relay had the same lineup and order as the 200, and finished in 3:32.77, just a shade under three-and-a-half seconds in front of Mason City’s relay.

“(Downey) came up big tonight,” Loupee said. “He was a little flat and off on Tuesday. To be a sophomore and come back and respond from a not very good meet two days later and be one leader and top point scorers for us, I mean that kid is four first places. I’m proud of the way Ryne bounced back.”

Some other events didn’t see wins come from Marshalltown, but still did see Bobcats record some best times. Pinitchan set a season-best in the 200 individual medley, finishing in 2:09.75, but Mason City’s Jacob Adamski was just a fingertip faster, finishing in 2:09.59. A season-best in the 500 freestyle was the result of Pinitchan’s 5:14.25, cutting nearly five seconds off his time, but he was again bested by Adamski, who finished in 5:12.16. Loupee noted Pinitchan was upset he didn’t collect wins along with his best times, but also pointed out Pinitchan was part of the relays that topped Mason City, which included Adamski in those races.

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING

Petty set a lifetime-best in the 100 backstroke, breaking the one minute barrier for the first time, and finishing in 59.04 on his way to a second place finished. Loupee said though the win eluded Petty, finishing below one minute is a big accomplishment, and is an example of Mason City bringing out the best in the Bobcats when the two teams get together.

“I greatly enjoy Coach (Steve) Hugo,” Loupee said. “He and I have known each other since we competed against each other in high school. I count him as a very good friend. This is truly what I feel high school sports is supposed to be about. Good, hard competition. Excellent sportsmanship.”

Mason City 92, Marshalltown 78

EVENT RESULTS

(Champion plus MHS placewinners)

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING

200 MEDLEY RELAY — 1. MHS (Groff, N. Summers, C. Summers, Barkema) 1:57.00; 3. MHS (Streets, Wahl, Jones, Wilson) 2:08.83.

200 FREESTYLE — 1. Petty, MHS, 1:57.15; 3. Beals, MHS, 2:00.13; 5. Perisho, MHS, 2:06.67.

200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY — 1. Adamski, MC, 2:09.59; 2. Pinitchan, MHS, 2:09.75; 5. N. Summers, MHS, 2:30.49.

50 FREESTYLE — 1. Downey, MHS, 23.33; 3. Barkema, MHS, 24.88; 5. C. Summers, MHS, 25.14.

100 BUTTERFLY — 1. Berg, MC, 58.17; 3. C. Summers, MHS, 1:05.38; 4. Groff, MHS, 1:05.58.

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING

100 FREESTYLE — 1. Downey, MHS, 53.20; 3. Beals, MHS, 53.36.

500 FREESTYLE — 1. Adamski, MC, 5:12.16; 2. Pinitchan, MHS, 5:14.25; 5. Groff, MHS, 5:38.44.

200 FREESTYLE RELAY — 1. MHS (Downey, Beals, Petty, Pinitchan) 1:35.89.

100 BACKSTROKE — 1. Litterer, MC, 57.96; 2. Petty, MHS, 59.04; 5. Streets, MHS, 1:14.21.

100 BREASTSTROKE — 1. Johnson, MC, 1:05.76; 4. Wahl, MHS, 1:19.74; 5. N. Summers, MHS, 1:20.70.

400 FREESTYLE RELAY — 1. MHS (Downey, Beals, Petty, Pinitchan) 3:32.77.