A group of six seniors for Ames High School will graduate with a perfect run of state championships, after the “Little Cyclones” have won their 4th straight Iowa Girls’ High School State Championship.
Ames started the meet with a win in the 200 medley relay that included two of those seniors, as well as two swimmers of the next generation for this dominant program. Sara Bentley, Towson commit Sydney Sorenson, Grace Snyder, and Katie Sailer were a 1:45.50, beating Pleasant Valley’s 1:47.23.
That win for Ames was a new State Record: one of many at this meet.
Southeast Polk’s Allyssa Fluit, just a sophomore, wound up being named the Swimmer of the Meet after taking two individual wins. That includes in the meet-opening 200 free relay, with a State Record of 1:49.43, and then later in the 500 free with a 4:56.61. The latter of those swims was not a state record, but she did win by eight big seconds.
Pleasant Valley’s Sydney Angell won the girls 200 IM in 2:04.52, beating out Jefferson’s Kelsey Drake, who as just a freshman was a 2:04.85 for 2nd. Pleasant Valley showed some early depth with two finishing in the top three in this race, including junior Nicole Oppel in 3rd with a 2:06.80.
Bettendorf’s Maddy Burnham won the girls’ 50 free in an All-American time of 23.31, beating out Waukee’s Maddie Gehrke in 23.47. The top five in this race were all better than 24 seconds.
Burnham came back out of the diving break to win the 100 fly in 54.73, beating Jefferson’s Kelsey Drake, who was a 55.48. Drake, who is just a freshman, has a great shot of sweeping all four state titles in this race over her career.
Lewis Central went 1-2 in the 100 free, led by senior Lauren Leehy in 51.68 and her freshman sister MyKenzie Leehy in 52.00.
Led by Burnham, Bettendorf won the meet’s second relay, the 200 free, in 1:35.83. That was a full second ahead of Lewis Central. Burnham had a blistering 22.36 anchor split on Burnham’s relay; publicly, at least, she’s uncommitted still, but she had a big meet at the perfect time, with a lot of significant lifetime bests on the weekend before signing week officially opens.
Lewis Central, anchored by the Leehy sisters, was 2nd.
Another uncommitted senior is Sara Bentley from Ames, who won the 100 back in 55.60. She beat out Iowa City West’s Lilian Zhu, who was a 57.27.
Iowa City High’s Lizzie Brown won the 100 breast in 1:03.86, filling in the vacuum left by the graduation of one of the state’s best ever Katharine Ross, who is the state record holder.
Lewis Central, it will come as no surprised, finished the meet by crushing the State Record with a 3:29.27. That knocked two seconds off of the State Record set last year by Pleasant Valley (who despite returning two of those swimmers slid to 5th this year).
Lewis Central’s champions were MyKenzie Leehy (52.27), Lindsay Keltch (52.69), Harper Emswiler (53.10), and Lauren Leehy (51.21).
Runners-up West Des Moines Valley almost cleared the old record also, going 3:31.63. They were anchored by junior Moriah Moore, who was a 51.60.
The six seniors who went perfect in their careers for Ames who competed at the state level are Sorenson, Eastern Michigan commit Hannah Newell, Bentley, Olivia Snyder, Bailey Moulden, Liz Funk, Maddy Hunke, and diver Jess Misra.
Top 5 Teams
1. Ames 302
2. Pleasant Valley 249
3. West Des Moines Valley 182
4. Cedar Falls 177
5. Lewis Central 166