Bobcat girls swim team leans on Trowbridges, seniors for leadership

Alli Trowbridge and Sami Trowbridge

Sisters Sami and Alli Trowbridge are essentially household names when it comes to swimming in Marshalltown.

The two twins have been mainstays in the state diving scene for the Marshalltown girls swimming and diving team, and now they enter their senior year with one last chance to bring some hardware back home for the Bobcats.

MHS head coach Angie Nelson said while the Trowbridge sisters should still be leading the way, there are a few other names that swim fans will see pop up on the diving board with good scores.

“We have great leadership on the diving board with Trowbridge and Trowbridge and, I tell you what, Hannah Taylor is coming back and she looks amazing,” Nelson said. “She has put in an incredible amount of offseason work and it shows.”

Alli finished in 11th last season at the Iowa Girls’ State Swimming and Diving Meet, held here in town at the Marshalltown YMCA/YWCA, while Sami just missed the first cut and a chance at the podium.

Nelson said both girls weren’t satisfied with how last year ended, and they are looking to improve themselves in their final year diving in high school.

“I think they know they need to work hard because the rest of the field is working hard,” she said. “I think they have something to prove because I don’t think they finished quite as high last year as they’d like to, and like I said I’m more impressed they used some leadership skills and are helping some of these younger kids develop and I like that because I’d like to see us have a program that there are some expectations from.”

In the swimming events, the Bobcats will be replacing last season’s other state qualifier in Zoe Beals, who is now swimming at Iowa Central.

While Nelson said it will be hard to make up for such an adept swimmer in the sprints and a good leader out of the pool, there’s a strong senior class waiting in the wings to do just that.

“We’ve got good leadership coming in,” she said. “We have a good group of seniors and so far we’ve seen some great, great leadership skill and I’m really excited to work with them.”

Two of those seniors are Shakira Herrera and Taylor Hrabak, who led the team in two events each last year.

“We have a really good distance swimmer in Taylor and we have a strong swimmer in Shakira because they are proven and I know what they can do,” Nelson said.

Other girls who return from last season with some growth, Nelson said, are Klaudia Hernandez, CeCe Waltermire and Kelsey Bartles.

“Kelsey Bartles is a breaststroker for us, Cece Waltermire who is also a breaststroker and Claudia Hernandez is a breaststroker, so we have breaststroke depth,” she said.

Also helping fill in some gaps from the past losses are a strong group of freshmen that Nelson said she excited to see get going, though there is a catch with having a younger, unproven team.

“The hard part of the first couple meets is you are just trying to figure out where they fit the best, so when I look at my team and what it looks like I’m not exactly sure what all of these girls can do just yet,” she said. “I know what my returners can do and what they are expected to do, but some of the new ones are kind of a wild card and you’re just never really sure what’s the best fit for them, and that might change from meet to meet.”

The Marshalltown girls will get their first taste of a full meet today as they host Dowling Catholic for a dual.

“Dowling has a really big team, they have 46 on the team, and they are a fantastic team,” Nelson said. “So I am hoping we can learn from them because they started the season last week.”

That dual against the Maroons is set for a 5:30 p.m. start today in the pool at MHS.