Despite winning only 1 individual event and no relays, the Waukee High School boys’ swim team came out victorious at the 2016 Iowa High School State Championship on Saturday at the Marshalltown Community YMCA Pool.
Top 5 team finishers:
- Waukee – 244
- Iowa City, West – 210
- Bettendorf – 198.5
- Cedar Rapids, Washington – 195
- Johstno – 182
Saturday’s meet marked a new era in Iowa High School swimming for boys. While the State Championship meet is still a timed-final affair, for the first time this year, the meet scored out to 16 places in each event.
Based on the results of last year’s state meet, Waukee was projected to benefit from the change, but the Warriors jumped from 7th last year to 1st, by a comfortable margin, in 2016 to even surpass those projections. This was the team’s first ever state title.
The team’s one state title came from senior Josh Waltman in the boys’ 100 fly. He swam 50.01, and with the only sub-27 split of the field on the back-half of his race (23.10/26.91), Waltman victored over a veteran field that saw the top 4 spots go to seniors.
While that was the team’s only gold medal, it was their depth in a wide-open Iowa field that carried the day. In two separate events (the 100 breast, and the 200 IM), Waukee earned 3 scorers, and they were the only school to place all three of their relays into the top 4 spots.
The Iowa City-West boys, who finished 2nd in the meet, came home with the weightiest pile of individual accolades. That included wins in both free relays thanks to a senior-heavy squad. Mark McGlaughlin (20.15/44.50), Aidan Keen (21.22/45.61), Oliver Martin (21.01/47.03), and Will Scott (20.17/46.04) made up the winning quartet in both relays, taking 1st in 1:22.55 and 3:03.18, respectively.
That time in the 20 free relay was a new State Record, while the 400 came up two-tenths short of the record set by the same foursome, in the same order, at this meet last year.
In the pursuit of those victories, however, Iowa City West placed only 17th in the 200 medley relay. While that would not have hurt them as badly under the old scoring system, with scoring down to 16 places, it left them in a big hole early in the meet.
Iowa City West’s relay leadoff McGlaughlin, a North Carolina State commit, also picked up two individual victories in two state-record times. First in the 200 IM, he swam 1:46.91 to come almost three seconds clear of the field. Then in the 100 free, his bet event, he swam 43.64 for another State Record.
That swim in the 200 IM was his first time under 1:50, while the swim in the 100 tied his personal best from Winter Juniors last December.
While McGlaughlin didn’t swim the 50, his teammate Scott picked up the load there with a new State Record of his own – winning in 20.29. Johnston’s Grant Fuhr (20.81) and Waukee’s Josh Waltman (20.98) took 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.
Cedar Rapids – Washington junior Cameron Kelly picked up two individual victories on the day and also scored a state record. He swam 4:29.96 in the 500 free, fighting back a charge from Aidan Keen (4:30.49) over the last 50 yards of the race.
Kelly also won the 200 free in 1:39.50, though in that race he was still three seconds short of the 31-year old state record swum by Craig Oppel, who would go on to win a gold medal in the 800 free relay at the 1988 Olympic Games.
Kelly’s senior teammate Nick Saulnier also chipped in an event victory, and an Automatic All-America time, in the 100 back with a 49.54.
The remaining individual victory went to Isaak Webb from Newton-Pella High School in the 100 breaststroke. He swam 56.45, leading virtually wire-to-wire ahead of Cedar Rapids-based opponents Stefan Kitsos (57.50) and Paul Hummell (57.56).
The meet-opening 200 medley relay was the most competitive relay of the day, with the top three teams separated by only half-a-second. Dubuque Sennior, though, got an early lead on the backstroke leg from senior John Colin, and rode that momentum to a 1:34.03 winning time – ahead of Bettendorf (1:34.13), and Waukee (1:34.54). The winning swimmers were Colin (22.77), Andrew Breitfelder (26.46), Jacob Hansen (23.70), and Brandon Sindt (21.10).