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Marshalltown’s 38 Blue Wave swimmers set to host, compete at state

PHOTO PROVIDED - The Marshalltown YMCA/YWCA Blue Wave swim team has qualified 38 competitors for this weekend’s 2021 Iowa YMCA State Swim Meet, which it hosts Saturday and Sunday at the Linda Bloom Natatorium. Pictured are front row: (from left) Leticia Herrera, Meredith Kodis, Harper Wilson, Henry Kell, Peter Seberger, Luis Manuel Calderon, Maisie Gummert, Addi Elmore and Libby Meyer; second row: Sam Nelson, Brandon Wise, Isaac Anderson, Lydia Beek, Jillian Cole, Finley Wilson, Asher DeSotel, Molly Lechnir, Alayna Frederick, Joe Greazel, Jacob Seberger and Jack Nelson; third row: Rachel Case, Emma Case, Adele Beek, Averie Wittkop, Leia Hernandez, Lesli Waltermire, Riley Robinson, Emelia Hauser, Hannah Case and Nick Wise; fourth row: Michael Lechnir, Sam Greazel, Lincoln Barker, Kaden Case, Beckham DeSotel, Noah DeSotel and Charlie Gilbertson.

The Marshalltown YMCA/YWCA will be hosting the 2021 Iowa YMCA State Swim Meet this weekend at the Linda Bloom Natatorium, entertaining 23 YMCA teams from acround the state.

A total of 328 girls will compete on Saturday and 281 boys take to the pool on Sunday. The two-day event will have three sessions each day for the three age divisions, though the event is closed to outside spectators. Each qualifying swimmer was granted two tickets, and all COVID-19 protocols will be observed.

This marks Marshalltown’s 18th consecutive year of hosting the YMCA State Swimming Championships, which will be streamed live online at youtube.com/bluewaveswimteam.

Marshalltown’s Blue Wave swim team will have a total of 38 swimmers competing in the meet, having qualified for 62 individual events and 18 relay races.

Every year, each team nominates one girl and one boy who represent all that the Y stands for, and these Iowa All-Stars candidates should be committed to youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Marshalltown’s nominees are Maisie Gummert and Nick Wise.

Maisie Gummert and Nick Wise

According to Blue Wave swim coach Shelley Lechnir, Gummert loves swimming and has learned how to work hard with a positive attitude. She is “a highly motivated young lady, so dedicated to the sport that she swims on days when practice is not scheduled,” Lechnir said. “She truly lives and breathes swimming and loves the friendships she has made in swimming.”

Gummert also plays clarinet, runs cross country and track, and enjoys creating masterpieces in art club. She enjoys outdoor activities such as biking, fishing, camping, and of course going to the lake or beach.

“Maisie exemplifies the Y’s core values outside of the pool as well, volunteering many hours with the animal rescue league, cleaning the neighborhood park that her family has adopted and taking her cat Scooter to nursing homes to put a smile on residents’ faces,” Lechnir said. “Maisie is very kind to both people and animals. She is always willing to help and puts in her best effort and is extremely humble.

“The Blue Wave swim team is fortunate to have this talented young lady on the team who exemplifies core values and personal ethics. Maisie’s drive and determination exemplify her as a role-model on our team, a leader in her school and a partner in the community.”

Wise has been involved with the Y programs almost his entire life, according to Lechnir. Starting with swim lessons at an early age, he has grown into a swimmer who produces state and regional qualifying times in all of his events. He shares that love of the water with younger swimmers and teaches as an assistant swim instructor for Y swim lessons.

“Nick has an affirmative attitude,” Lechnir said. “He never shirks a workout or complains about a set. Nick takes each practice with a kind of acknowledgement and acceptance that provides younger swimmers with an inspiring role model.”

Nick is proficient in all of the strokes, but his favorite is the 100-yard backstroke. The best part about swimming, according to Nick, is “just being with friends.”

Wise is also active as a wrestler, a runner and a baseball player. He is also actively involved with the Salvation Army food drive and spring/fall thrift sales that raise money for the community, and enjoys helping with summer Bible camps.

“Nick is an incredible young man who possesses a genuine warmth and caring for the people around him,” Lechnir said. “This young man is a standout both in and out of the water.”

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