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Ames gets headstart in bid for fifth-straight title

The quest for a fifth-straight girls state swimming and diving championship escaped Ames the first time around. Today the Little Cyclones are getting a second chance.

Ames qualified 19 individuals and two relay teams for today’s swimming finals at the Marshalltown YMCA/YWCA, giving the Little Cyclones hope of winning five in a row and joining Cedar Falls with the all-time record of nine girls’ state swimming and diving titles.

Cedar Falls is the only program to win more than four titles consecutively, when head coach Dick Marcusson and the Tigers took six-straight from 1993-1998. Ames won each year from 2010-2013 before finishing as runner-up by eight points to Pleasant Valley in 2014. The Little Cyclones returned to top of the state meet standings in 2015 and have not been challenged since.

Dowling Catholic, the runner-up each of the last two seasons, is in position to give the Little Cyclones a run for this year’s title with 18 individual finals qualifiers and two relays. The Maroons have three top-seeded qualifiers, highlighted by Tennessee commit Berit Quass in the 500-yard freestyle.

Iowa City West entered the postseason third in the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s power rankings, and the Women of Troy have 11 individual qualifiers and all three relays.

The race for this year’s state title may not even be decided until the final event. Dowling, Ames and Iowa City West have the top three qualifiers, respectively, for the season’s final swim.

Ames got a headstart on this year’s competition with Friday’s state diving finals. While Sydney Jorgensen became Ankeny’s first-ever state diving champion with an 11-dive total of 513.20, Joscelyn Buss boosted the Little Cyclones with 17 points for her runner-up finish (485.70).

Jorgensen, a TCU commit, was one of three Ankeny diving qualifiers to score points. Dasha Toth, a junior, took 12th place and sophomore Erica Peters was 14th, and the Hawkettes have the lead in the team standings with 28 points heading into today’s swimming finals.

Dowling Catholic got nine points for Avery Markowski’s ninth-place finish, while the Women of Troy totaled 13 points with Samantha Klein in eighth and Austyn Goodale in 15th.

Iowa Girls High School State Swimming and Diving

At Marshalltown YMCA/YWCA

Team Standings — 1. Ankeny 28, 2. Bettendorf 19, 3. Johnston 18, 4. Ames 17, 5. Waterloo 16, 6. (tie) Cedar Falls, Linn-Mar 14, 8. Iowa City West 13, 9. Dowling Catholic 9, 10. Marshalltown 7.

EVENT RESULTS

(top 8 plus MHS finishers)

1-METER DIVING (11 dives) — 1. Sydney Jorgesen, Ankeny, 513.30; 2. Joscelyn Buss, Ames, 485.70; 3. Lauren Kimball, Waterloo, 481.00; 4. Sydney Hanson, Bettendorf, 451.90; 5. Ashton Syharath, Cedar Falls, 450.35; 6. Megan Norris, Linn-Mar, 447.80; 7. Ciarra Wheeler, Johnston, 431.70; 8. Samantha Klein, Iowa City West, 415.90; 10. Hannah Taylor, MHS, 411.70; 31. Mia Rasmusson, MHS, 163.40.