After placing fourth at the state meet in each of the last two years, the Ankeny girls’ swimming team is looking to earn a top-three finish at this year’s meet, which begins on Friday and concludes on Saturday at the Marshalltown YMCA.
The Hawkettes are fifth in the latest team power rankings with 4,019 points. Dowling Catholic is ranked No. 1 with 4,525 points, followed by Ames (4,503), Iowa City West (4,401) and Waukee (4,149).
Three of the top five teams are from the CIML Central Conference.
“Dowling and Ames are the current power point leaders, so I’d have to say they are the favorites,” said Ankeny coach Michelle Stout, who will receive the Golden Plaque of Distinction Award on Saturday from the Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union. “They are separated by a very narrow margin.”
Ames has won eight of the last nine state titles, but the Little Cyclones finished 90 points behind Dowling in the Central Conference meet on Oct. 24 at Ankeny. The Maroons are projected to win the state meet with 340 points, based on where all of the qualifiers are seeded.
Dowling is the top seed in both the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays. The Maroons boast three of the top eight qualifiers in the 500 freestyle, led by Berit Quass, who set a state record in the event at last year’s meet.
Ames is projected to place second with 291 points. The Little Cyclones are seeded first in the 200 freestyle relay, while Annie Galvin is the top qualifier in the 100 backstroke.
There could be a three-way battle for third place. Iowa City West is projected to score 194 points, followed by Ankeny with 172 and Waukee with 167.
“The next three to four places will battle it out, and we’re right in the mix,” Stout said. “However, it’s going to come down to who has the best performances this weekend. Our top girls were untapered for regionals, nor did they suit up, so I’m confident we’re ready to perform at a high level.”
Iowa City West’s Scarlet Martin is the top qualifier in both the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly. Teammate Aurora Roghair is the top qualifier in the 200 freestyle.
Ankeny is led by senior Jasmine Rumley, the two-time defending champion in the 50 freestyle. She is seeded first in both the 50 and 100 freestyle events.
The Hawkettes could take an early lead when the diving competition is held on Friday. They boast three of the top 13 qualifiers in Sydney Jorgensen (2nd), Erica Peters (7th) and Dasha Toth (13th).
Preliminary races for the swimming events will be held on Friday night. The finals begin at noon on Saturday.
Ankeny is projected to score 60 points in the three relay events. The Hawkettes are seeded sixth in the medley relay, eighth in the 200 freestyle relay and 11th in the 400 freestyle relay.
“Relays can be reconfigured for the state meet for any team,” Stout said. “It’s difficult to know what the other team’s strategies are, so we need to focus on our strengths.”
The top 16 finishers in each event are the placewinners. Here is where Ankeny is seeded in the rest of its events:
200 freestyle–Madison Carleton (10th), Rachel Rolow (26th).
50 freestyle–Alexis Henning (11th), Mia Pearson (28th).
100 butterfly–Scout Bergwall (9th).
100 freestyle–Pearson (25th).
500 freestyle–Carleton (7th).
100 backstroke–Bergwall (12th), Henning (17th), Rolow (31st).
100 breaststroke–Katie Brown (27th), Peters (30th).
Stout will be honored before the start of the finals on Saturday. She found out earlier this week that she would be the recipient of the prestigious award.
“It was unexpected to say the least,” Stout said.
Stout, a Sergeant Bluff native and Northern Iowa graduate, has been coaching at Ankeny since 2000. She took over as the Hawkettes’ head coach in 2007.
Stout has guided Ankeny to seven top-10 finishes at the state meet, including five in a row. The Hawkettes won a state title in the 200 freestyle relay in 2017.