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Chasing the clock

Marshalltown swimmers seeking school records at state championships

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - The Marshalltown boys’ swimming squad is sending seven entries into Saturday’s state meet at the University of Iowa. Pictured, from left to right, are Brock Keeler, Tyler Downey, Marcus Barker, Aaron Seberger, Carson Beals, Nash Perisho and Ethan Benscoter.

The mood was bright and festive in the Marshalltown High School gym Wednesday afternoon. The air was humid and the nine Bobcat boys swimmers were stretching out before practice, trying to taper as best they can before Saturday’s state swim meet in Iowa City. The Bobcats are participating in six events — four individual and two relays — and have plenty on the line when they hit the pool, including a number of potential school records.

Coach Mike Loupee said anything won Saturday would be icing on the cake for the school, given the season Marshalltown’s had up to this point.

“We are poised to have a lot of good things happen,” Loupee said. “And if all or none of those things happen, putting it in perspective, we’ve had a tremendous season and they’ve done a great job.”

The Bobcats face some tough climbs for medals in a couple of events, with Marcus Barker seeded 24th in the 200-yard IM and senior Nash Perisho 20th in the 100-yard butterfly. In those cases, Loupee wants them to go out and leave it all out there, swimming freely and without any pressure. But he said there is medal potential across the board if the Bobcats can taper the way they did before districts.

Perisho and senior Carson Beals sit less than a second apart in the second heat of the 200-yard freestyle two lanes apart, with Perisho in Lane 5 and Beals in Lane 7. It’s conceivable that both could find themselves in top-6 contention with an improved time.

Beals is the sixth seed in the 100-yard freestyle, the event he won at districts. He said it would be crazy to end his career with a podium or possibly a win at State.

“It’s been a while since we had someone even on the podium in an individual event,” Beals said. “I think it’d feel really great to represent the school and show how much hard work we do.”

In the relays, there is one spot that’s still up in the air regarding the 400-yard freestyle team. Tyler Downey, who was a part of the winning relay in districts and had a medal of his own in the 100-yard freestyle, has been battling a rare condition called Henoch-Schonlein purpura, sometimes known as “Spring Fever,” described by the Mayo Clinic as, “a disorder that causes the small blood vessels in your skin, joints, intestines, and kidneys to become inflamed and bleed.” The disease is most common in children aged 2-6, but Downey is now in his second week dealing with this ailment. It’s been another tough week, Loupee said, and his status will be determined either Friday or Saturday. Ethan Benscoter is the alternate if Downey can’t go.

State Swimming begins at 12:10 p.m. Saturday at the Recreation and Wellness Center on the University of Iowa campus.

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