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Bobcat swimmers go down to the wire with Indianola

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - Marshalltown’s Dane Petty, left, gives chase to Indianola’s Matt Coffelt during the 100-yard backstroke event at Tuesday’s dual meet at the Marshalltown High School pool. Coffelt won the race while Petty placed third, and Indianola edged out the host Bobcats in the final dual meet of the regular season. The Indians won 86-84.

Marshalltown boys’ swimming coach Mike Loupee had mapped out Tuesday night’s meet with Indianola the morning before — and his hypothetical prediction saw the team losing by 14 points to the team ranked two spots ahead in Quikstats Iowa’s power rankings.

As it turned out, he was well off — and he was happy about it.

The Bobcats came within two points of beating the Indians, falling 86-84 despite a win in the final meet of the night, the 400-yard freestyle relay. The relay was anchored by senior Carson Beals, who overcame a body-length deficit in the final stretch to swim a 48.04 leg and seal a huge win for Marshalltown with a final time of 3:21.17.

“That’s something he’ll look back on 15-20 years from now and smile about,” Loupee said. “Really happy for Carson on that one.”

The Bobcats started the meet out strong with podiums that Loupee said he wasn’t counting on, which gave the Bobcats a higher ceiling in the meet and kept them in striking distance. In fact, at the time of the first match break, the Bobcats led Indianola 33-29 after a 1-2 from Aaron Seberger and Ethan Benscoter in the 50-yard freestyle.

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - Marshalltown’s Stephen Blom competes in the 500-yard freestyle event during Tuesday’s dual meet against Indianola at the MHS pool. Blom placed third in the race in a time of 5 minutes, 23.28 seconds.

Loupee said there were 22 career-bests from the Bobcats on Tuesday night and 43 season-bests.

Getting a second-and-third place finish in the 200-yard freestyle were Nash Perisho and Beals, which Loupee said he hadn’t expected, set the tone for the meet on the Bobcats’ side. After the first break, the Indians stormed back to take the lead but a win for Marshalltown in the 200-yard freestyle relay for Beals, Marcus Barker, Seberger and Perisho put the Bobcats up by two points heading into the second break.

“Anybody that scored, pretty much did their job or outperformed their job,” Loupee said. “The whole theme of tonight was, we’re gonna be down and we need a team to step up.”

The Bobcats lost ground in the backstroke and butterfly, heading into the final meet down 82-74. For most of the freestyle relay Indianola was just ahead, but Beals’ comeback — along with the third-place finish of Stephen Blom, JP Jones, Brock Keeler and Benscoter with a team time of 3:38.16 — gave the Bobcats hope that they might have just pulled off the upset.

It was close but not meant to be, and the Bobcats dropped to 9-3 on the season. However, Loupee was proud of his team’s effort and performance on the night, saying the fact they had a chance to win or tie the meet at the end showed how close they were and that they were on the right track for districts.

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - Marshalltown’s Joe Barlow swims in the 100-yard backstroke during Tuesday’s meet at MHS. Barlow finished in sixth place in a time of 1 minute, 6.40 seconds.

Districts start at noon on Feb. 8 at the YMCA pool in Marshalltown — which Loupee hopes will give his Bobcats an advantage over the opposition since they’ve had meets there early in the season.

“Hopefully they have the confidence,” Loupee said. “We’ve got a week and a half to get ready for districts… We’ll work on technique, we will rest [and] we’ll talk about the opportunities that lay in front of them.”

Indianola 86, Marshalltown 84

At Marshalltown

EVENT RESULTS

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING

(Champion plus MHS placewinners)

200 MEDLEY RELAY — 1. Indianola (Coffelt, Pollard, Picard, Wadle) 1:46.82; 2. MHS (Seberger, Keeler, Blom, Benscoter) 1:49.51.

200 FREESTYLE — 1. Collin Geurts, IND, 1:48.31; 2. Nash Perisho, MHS, 1:49.18; 3. Carson Beals, MHS, 1:52.28; 4. Tyler Downey, MHS, 1:55.46.

200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY — 1. Marcus Barker, MHS, 2:08.18; 3. Stephen Blom, MHS, 2:14.92.

50 FREESTYLE — 1. Aaron Seberger, MHS, 23.00; 2. Ethan Benscoter, MHS, 23.52; 5. Carter Hunt, MHS, 25.15.

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING

100 BUTTERFLY — 1. Nathan Pollard, IND, 54.65; 2. Perisho, MHS, 54.80; 4. Brock Keeler, MHS, 1:01.35; 5. JP Jones, MHS, 1:02.78.

100 FREESTYLE — 1. Beals, MHS, 49.15; 3. Benscoter, MHS, 52.06.

500 FREESTYLE — 1. Matt Coffelt, IND, 5:09.85; 3. Blom, MHS, 5:14.93; 4. Tyler Downey, MHS, 5:36.36.

200 FREESTYLE RELAY — 1. MHS (Beals, Barker, Seberger, Perisho) 1:31.50.

100 BACKSTROKE — 1. Coffelt, IND, 58.40; 3. Seberger, MHS, 1:00.59; 4. Dane Petty, MHS, 1:02.19.

100 BREASTSTROKE — 1. Pollard, IND, 1:05.50; 2. Barker, MHS, 1:06.89; 3. Keeler, MHS, 1:11.05.

400 FREESTYLE RELAY — 1. MHS (Perisho, Downey, Barker, Beals) 3:21.17; 3. MHS (Blom, Jones, Keeler, Benscoter) 3:38.16.

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