Downey brings Bobcats back into state standings

Junior scores Marshalltown’s first points in 5 years

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown junior Ryne Downey swims in the 100-yard freestyle on Saturday in the Iowa Boys’ High School State Swimming Championships. Downey placed 12th in the 50 freestyle earlier in the day to become the first Bobcat to earn points in the state meet since 2013.

IOWA CITY — There were a lot of firsts at the Iowa Boys’ High School State Swimming Championship on Saturday.

It was the first time the meet had been moved back to Iowa City from Marshalltown since 2004, and it was the first time the Marshalltown boys swimming team had any representatives at the meet since 2015. And, by the end of the meet, it was the first time the Bobcats had any placers at a state meet since 2013, as junior Ryne Downey placed 12th in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.93 seconds.

Downey was the only MHS swimmer to score, however, as he and sophomore Carson Beals placed 21st and 23rd respectively in the 100 freestyle, then the 200 freestyle relay team of Beals, Downey, Brad Barkema and Gage Petty took 19th, while the 400 freestyle relay team of Beals, Downey, Petty and Nash Perisho disqualified due to an early exchange.

Bobcats head coach Mike Loupee said he was absolutely pleased with how his guys swam at the University of Iowa Aquatics Center on Saturday, especially since they accomplished their goal of at least placing in one of the four events.

“We showed up, it’s hard for the kids to hold taper for two weeks,” Loupee said. “Coach [Sam] Backstrom and I are pleased with the effort today, the guys had dreams and hopes of more and they were disappointed early and it was hard to get them emotionally into the meet the rest of the day. Plus it’s hard to sit around for four or five events.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown sophomore Carson Beals competes in the 100-yard freestyle on Saturday in the Iowa Boys’ High School State Swimming Championships in Iowa City.

Despite not matching his seed time in the 50 free, Downey swam his second-best time of his career and was the first Marshalltown swimmer to place since Blair Van Staalduine took 11th in the 50 free in 2013. That number is a little skewed, however, as before 2016 the IHSAA only placed the top 12 swimmers instead of the top 16 like they do now, and since 2013 the Bobcats had six other relays or individuals finish in 16th or better, but didn’t place.

Most importantly, this wasn’t the end of a journey for the MHS boys, but just the beginning. Of the five individuals who swam, only Barkema and Petty are seniors, and Loupee said his guys returning need to think fonder on what they accomplished this season.

“We have a lot of good things to build on, coach Backstrom and I are not disappointed with times and effort,” he said. “We need to be more positive and not beat ourselves up, it’s not always going to go perfectly but we had a great season, we had a great district meet and I know they have a lot of sour taste in their mouths right now but there were a lot of very positive things to build on.”

As a whole it was an extremely competitive meet, as Ames came away the winner by barely nudging out West Des Moines Valley by one point, 221-220. Loupee said it will be a great benefit to his guys to see how some of the top state competitors prepare before their meets, but he also said his guys should to be proud that they earned their place right alongside the top finishers.

“They need to understand that they are just as deserving to be here as anyone else,” Loupee said. “We swam close to our times and we came two days early because of the weather. We went to the Coralville rec center and we went at the same time as Ankeny and Johnston and we looked just as good as they did in the water, we did the same things they did. That should show them that everything we do is going to work if they have faith and work hard at it.”

With the state meet now finished the Bobcats close the book on a 2017-18 campaign that saw Marshalltown back in the spotlight as a team, though the meet wasn’t still in town. Loupee said this has been a spectacular year that he will remember for years to come.

“We’ve had a great season, there has been tremendous improvement and I couldn’t ask for a better 21 kids to work with,” Loupee said. “They all came every day with a positive attitude, they worked hard, they did whatever we asked them to do. Thursday night at our banquet we are going to celebrate a lot of success and we are going to celebrate the things that we did well here.”

Iowa Boys High School State Swimming Championships

At Iowa City

Team Standings — 1. Ames 221, 2. Valley 220, 3. (tie) Ankeny, Bettendorf 166.5, 5. Waukee 153, 6. Dowling Catholic 127.5, 7. Iowa City High 126, 8. Pleasant Valley 122, 9. Johnston 119, 10. (tie) Cedar Rapids Washington, Linn-Mar 104.5, 12. Cedar Falls 101, 13. Iowa City West 79, 14. Fort Dodge 58, 13. Iowa City West 79, 14. Fort Dodge 58, 15. Lewis Central 53, 16. Sioux City 33, 17. Dubuque Hempstead 30, 18. Newton/Colfax-Mingo/Pella 24, 19. Davenport Central 23.5, 20. Mason City 23, 21. Decorah 20, 22. Carroll 18, 23. (tie) Dubuque Senior, Des Moines Roosevelt 15, 25. Burlington 14.5, 26. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 12.5, 27. Boone 6, 28. Keokuk 5, 29. Marshalltown 4.5, 30. Des Moines East 3, 31. Southeast Polk 1, 32. Ottumwa 0.5.

EVENT RESULTS

(Champion plus MHS finishers)

200 MEDLEY RELAY — 1. Ames (Johnson, Lillibridge, Mahrous, Matthews) 1:33.83.

200 FREESTYLE — 1. Jackson Allmon, Lewis Central, 1:39.11

200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY — 1. Caleb Aman, Bettendorf, 1:50.49.

50 FREESTYLE — 1. Jacob Keller, Valley, 20.75; 12. Ryne Downey, MHS, 21.93.

100 BUTTERFLY — 1. Forrest Frazier, IC High, 49.10.

100 FREESTYLE — 1. Allmon, LC, 45.61; 21. Downey, MHS, 49.00; 23. Carson Beals, MHS, 49.81.

500 FREESTYLE — 1. Dylan Moffatt, CF, 4:27.77.

200 FREESTYLE RELAY — 1. Bettendorf (Bunn, Nickles, Ottavianelli, Aman) 1:24.82; 19. MHS (Ryne Downey, Brad Barkema, Gage Petty, Carson Beals) 1:30.44.

100 BACKSTROKE — 1. Nick Chase, Dowling, 49.48.

100 BREASTSTROKE — 1. Frazier, IC High, 54.16.

400 FREESTYLE RELAY — 1. Valley (Lichinsky, Porter, Bach, Keller) 3:06.87.