Bobcat boys swimming team falls to Waukee on Senior Night
With No. 2 Waukee coming in to town for the final home meet of the season, the No. 12 Marshalltown boys swimming team knew a total victory was a long shot, but there were still some opportunities to compete well at the MHS pool on Thursday night.
The Warriors walked away with a 104-66 victory, but Bobcat boys swimming head coach Mike Loupee said his guys have nothing to hang their heads about.
“We had some great swims, we had 28 lifetime bests, which is a tremendous number for this time of year,” Loupee said. “We had 61 season-best times, so those are some great numbers this late in the season with the kind of workload the guys have had. Waukee has a very strong team and they will be in the hunt for a state title. Coach [Dan Briggs] moved some guys and moved some of his seniors around, and while he was doing that to keep them fresh in their events, he set up some very nice races for us. A 40 point spread against a quality team like Waukee is definitely something to take some pride in.”
Two of those season bests came from senior Ryne Downey, who showed well in his final performance in his home pool. Downey placed second in both the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle races, finishing with a season-best 22.32 in the 50 and a season-best 49.99 in the 100.
Downey said it was good to finally see his times drop after staying in the same place for the last few weeks.
“They were what I was hoping for, that’s what I’ve been shooting for for most of the season and to finally hit it feels really good,” he said.
Most of the time, Downey in the 50 freestyle specifically is so far ahead that he is just racing himself, so competing against the tough Warriors was a welcome change.
“It’s a lot easier to latch on to someone and try to stay with them as best as you can rather than just swimming against slower people and hoping you are where you need to be,” Downey said.
Loupee said it’s been tough for Downey that he wasn’t coming along as well as he would have liked, but the plan has always been to work hard through the meat of the season and see the real time drops near the end.
“Ryne has swam well all season and he started out real well, but sprinters get tired. He is under the same high-yardage workload and high-intensity workload as the rest of the team and so he wears down,” Loupee said. “At the beginning of the season he popped some pretty good times, as the yardage and intensity built up he has plateaud but he’s stayed close to those times all year. He was a little slow against Valley and he was a little bit panicked that he wasn’t where we had talked about he should be.
“We’ve had a great week of work, we swam three mornings and had three 10,000-yard days, but we took this morning off and he had a little pop and things are starting to come together. This was a night that I think will give him some confidence going into the final push into district and state.”
The Bobcats finished in first in two events on the evening, with junior Carson Beals taking the top spot in the 200 freestyle with a lifetime-best 1:50.45 and freshman Marcus Barker turning in a season-best 2:09.80 in the 200 individual medley to win.
“[Beals] took it out very aggressively, in that third 50 it looked like he might get caught but he showed some real determination,” Loupee said. “Carson is a competitor, first and foremost, and he showed some real determination making sure that he was going to hang on and win the race. Bryce Edens also had a great swim and a season-best as well.
“[Barker] is so long and we keep talking about his turnover speed, just making his arms go faster more regularly,” Loupee continued. “His turnover speed throughout the race was much improved, and he had a good race.”
Aside from Downey’s two second-place finishes, Edens finished in second in the 500 freestyle to go along with a third-place finish in the 200 freestyle, Nash Perisho was second in the 200 individual medley behind Barker, and Blaine Gunderson took silver in the 100 breaststroke.
“Bryce had another season best in the 500, hung with that guy and he just keeps notching away and getting closer and closer to that five-minute barrier, which is huge,” Loupee said. “It was close to another season-best for Blaine and we have been working a lot on rhythm. Breaststroke is the one that has the most variability on timing, so that was nice to see him maintain that again under the workload and stress their bodies are under right now.”
Marshalltown had a good night in the relays as well, with the 200 medley relay of Caleb Summers, Gunderson, Perisho and Barker placing third with a season-best 1:48.54, the 200 freestyle relay of Downey, Barker, Perisho and Beals swimming a season-best 1:31.63 to take second and the 400 freestyle relay of Downey, Barker, Edens and Beals taking second with a 3:25.47.
“I was very pleased with the 200 free relay. That was the season best by a second and a half, and we still have some time to find in our relay exchanges,” Loupee said. “When we taper, that 1:30 barrier, if we could get under 1:30 that would be a tremendous accomplishment and we are in reach of that.”
With this being the final home meet of the year, it was also the final time the six seniors — Ryne Downey, Caleb Summers, Blaine Gunderson, Jacob Eberle, David Wahl and Jose Orozco — got to swim at home.
Loupee said those six have been amazing to work with for all the years they’ve been out, and especially their senior year.
“They are six great personalities. They are super kids, they come from tremendous families and they love to be together in the pool,” Loupee said. “Even when the workload is hard, they find a way to enjoy what they are doing and enjoy each other’s company. As a coach, that’s the kind of senior class that you wish you could have every year.
“Every senior had at least two season or lifetime bests tonight. As a coach that’s what you wish for for your seniors, for them to finish their home portion of their career and have their last home meet be one that they can be proud of and look back on and feel happy about how they performed.”
The Bobcats are nearing the end of their journey, as they just have the CIML Iowa Conference meet, which was rescheduled from Saturday to Monday at 4 p.m. in Fort Dodge, and a road dual against Indianola on Tuesday before preparing for the district meet.
Loupee said his boys have worked hard all season long, and now it’s almost time to unleash their full potential.
“The JV kid are in the middle of their taper, and they are rested and they had a lot of pop tonight. That should be encouraging for our varsity, if our JV kids are dropping time on a three-day taper then they should be very confident when their turn comes,” he said. “They are tired, they are sore, they see the light at the end of the tunnel and they wish the tunnel was shorter. To have a good, quality meet like we did tonight against a very high-quality team, that should give them a lot of confidence heading in to the championship portion of the season.”
Waukee 104, Marshalltown 66
(Champion plus MHS placewinners)
200 MEDLEY RELAY — 1. Waukee A (Linder, Reiter, Pollitt, Kuhlers) 1:43.38, 3. MHS A (Summers, Gunderson, Perisho, Barker) 1:48.45.
200 FREESTYLE — 1. Carson Beals, MHS, 1:50.45; 3. Bryce Edens, MHS, 1:50.7; 5. Tyler Downey, MHS, 2:03.05.
200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY — 1. Marcus Barker, MHS, 2:09.80; 2. Nash Perisho, MHS, 2:10.59; 5. Blaine Gunderson, MHS, 2:21.77.
50 FREESTYLE — 1. Michell Pollitt, Waukee, 22.07; 2. Ryne Downey, MHS, 22.32; 5. Ethan Benscoter, MHS, 24.62.
100 BUTTERFLY — 1. Cameron Linder, Waukee, 55.48; 3. Nash Perisho, MHS, 58.39; 4. Caleb Summers, MHS, 58.45.
100 FREESTYLE — 1. Mitchell Pollitt, Waukee, 49.27; 2. Ryne Downey, MHS, 49.99; 4. Carson Beals, MHS, 50.68.
500 FREESTYLE — 1. Drew Reiter, Waukee, 5:01.11; 2. Bryce Edens, MHS, 5:05.19; 3. Tyler Downey, MHS, 5:33.27; 4. Ethan Benscoter, MHS, 5:33.63.
200 FREESTYLE RELAY — 1. Waukee A (Muenzenmay, Patterson, Waltman, Kuhlers) 1:31.52. 2. MHS A (Downey, Barker, Perisho, Beals) 1:31.63, 3. MHS B (Edens, Seberger, Downey, Benscoter) 1:38.66.
100 BACKSTROKE — 1. Drew Reiter, Waukee, 57.26; 4. Jacob Eberle, MHS, 1:04.68; 5. Aaron Seberger, MHS, 1:05.00.
100 BREASTSTROKE — 1. Cameron Linder, Waukee, 1:01.14; 2. Blaine Gunderson, MHS, 1:07.86; 5. Brock Keeler, MHS, 1:14.28.
400 FREESTYLE RELAY — 1. Waukee A (Linder, Moseley, Reiter, Pollitt) 3:21.03, 2. MHS A (Downey, Barker, Edens, Beals) 3:25.47.