Unbeaten Bobcat boys swimming team dunks Dodgers, 107-61

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON - Marshalltown swimmer Ethan Benscoter, front, competes in the 400-yard freestyle relay during the Bobcats’ win over Fort Dodge on Thursday.

Wins just keep rolling in for the Marshalltown boys swimming team, as it improved to 6-0 in dual meets on Thursday night with a 107-61 victory over CIML Iowa Conference foe Fort Dodge.

The Bobcats (6-0, 1-0) had the fastest time in eight of the 11 events on the night, they took at least first and second in five events and they placed first, second and third in three races against the Dodgers.

MHS head coach Mike Loupee said considering the rigorous workouts he’s put the guys through over the last week, he was impressed with what he saw in the water.

“We swam hard these first three days of the week, a couple of hard morning practices, the yards are up and they’ve lifted twice so they are pretty beat,” Loupee said. “Several of the guys said they couldn’t lift their arms but that’s where we want them. We had 21 lifetime bests and 53 personal bests, that’s a really good night for the yardage and workload we’ve put on these guys at the beginning of the week.”

It was a good night for the youngest Bobcats in particular. Freshman Bryce Edens came away in first in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1 minute, 56.07 seconds, and he took first in the 500 freestyle with a new season-best of 5:12.77.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON - The Marshalltown boys swim team celebrates as the 400-yard freestyle relay team closes the meet against Fort Dodge with a win on Thursday at the MHS pool. The Bobcats beat the Dodgers, 107-61.

Fellow freshman Marcus Barker didn’t take home any individual wins, but he was second in the 200 individual medley with a 2:16.27 and he swam the anchor leg of the 400 freestyle relay that won with a 3:37.48, just a hair faster than the Dodgers’ 3:37.60.

“Fort Dodge has one of the premier sprinters in the state in Cole Pearson, he was on the end of both relays. Bryce in the 200 free relay, Pearson was running him down and Bryce really showed some moxy and held on,” Loupee said. “He got nipped at the end of the race but he had a great split and really raced well when that opportunity presented himself.

“It happened again in the 400 free relay for Marcus, he had about a three-second lead but we figured he needed about a four-second lead, and he came out and had an excellent first 50 and his turnover speed was where we’ve been trying to get it. He had a 51 split, for a freshman after the week we’ve had to have a 51 split, I and the rest of the coaches are very pleased.”

Edens was the only individual to win two races, but Nash Perisho took top honors in the 200 individual medley with a season-high 2:12.08, Caleb Summers won the 100 butterfly with a 1:00.49 and Blaine Gunderson came in first in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:12.63.

Marshalltown also had the fastest time in all three relays, with the team of Ryne Downey, David Wahl, Barker and Summers winning the 200 medley relay with a 1:51.44, the team of Downey, Summers, Perisho and Carson Beals placing first in the 200 freestyle relay with a 1:34.16 and the 400 freestyle relay of Ethan Benscoter, Aaron Seberger, Edens and Barker winning in their close race.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

Loupee specifically said that Perisho, who added a second-place finish in the 500 freestyle to his wins in the 200 individual medley and 200 freestyle relay, has continued to have a great start to his season.

“Nash is just very consistent and he is very consistently doing very well. We are really pleased with Nash and his races, he won the individual medley and was right at a season-best time,” Loupee said. “Bryce dropped three seconds with no competition to go 5:12, then Nash took about 20 seconds off his lifetime best.”

With the first six dual meets and the Boone Toreador Relays all going the Bobcats’ way so far, Loupee said his guys are seeing the fruits of their labors even if they are feeling worn out.

“We’ve got a lot of good things going right now, the guys are starting to get a little physically tired so we need to continue to emphasize the improvement that we are showing and the fact that we are a good team, but this team could be very good,” Loupee said.

Marshalltown has a chance to win its second invitational of the year on Saturday when it hosts its home Bobcat Invite, and Loupee said it would mean a lot to him if his team were to come out on top.

“In my 22 years we’ve only won the Bobcat Invite three times, and the last time was in the 2006-2007 season,” he said. “The coaching staff is excited about the opportunity that we have to win our own invite.”

The Bobcat Invite will start at noon on Saturday in the MHS pool.