When the Ankeny girls’ swimming program was launched in 1989, the Hawkettes suffered through some growing pains.
Ankeny had three winless campaigns in its first seven seasons and went just 10-52 in dual meets through 1995. The Hawkettes had no state qualifiers in two of those years and placed no higher than 30th at the state meet during that stretch.
However, the program took a big step forward in 1996, when Ankeny compiled an 8-2 record for its first winning season. Mark Nordby, who became the team’s head coach in 1992, credited the work ethic of his athletes for the Hawkettes’ success.
“I think the girls put some pride into this program,” Nordby said at the time. “The other coaches around central Iowa have gained a lot of respect for what the Ankeny girls can do.”
In the last 25 years, the respect for Ankeny’s program has only grown.
Nordby guided the Hawkettes to eight top-10 finishes at the state meet, including a runner-up finish in 2004. He then turned the program over to assistant coach Michelle Stout three years later.
Since then, Stout has led Ankeny to nine more top-10 finishes. Ankeny owns a current streak of seven straight top-10 finishes.
The program has also produced multiple state champions–both in the individual and relay events. Two of Ankeny’s best swimmers were named the Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union Athlete of the Year.
Here, then, is the Ankeny Fanatic all-time Ankeny girls’ swimming team, which is comprised of two dual-meet teams (for a total of six swimmers in each individual event). For the relays, the top two times in school history in each relay (using a different combination of swimmers) are used for the first and second teams.
200 medley relay: Alexis Henning, Erica Peters, Scout Bergwall and Jasmine Rumley teamed up for a third-place finish at the 2019 state meet. They set a school record with a time of 1:45.29, which also earned all-American consideration.
200 freestyle: Erin Doruska, Julie Elwell, Megan Murphy
Doruska was a three-time state qualifier in the event. She placed 21st as a freshman in 2015, when she also qualified in the 100 butterfly. “I think one of my favorite memories from my high school career was our team sleepover my freshman year,” said Doruska. “It was pretty early on in the season, so being a freshman, I did not know anyone that well or what the team culture was like. The sleepover helped me get to know my teammates better and increased my sense of belonging to the team. The sleepover helped prove to me that the Ankeny girls’ swim and dive program truly cares about every member and wants them to succeed both in and out of the pool. That culture continued for the rest of my years on the team.” In 2017, she placed ninth in a time of 1:54.08. As a senior, she set a school record of 1:51.05 in the 200 freestyle during the preliminaries at the state meet. She went on to place sixth in the final in a time of 1:51.52. Doruska helped the Hawkettes to back-to-back fourth-place finishes overall. “Erin actually had a somewhat disappointing sophomore year and the transformation I witnessed her junior and into her senior year was astounding,” Stout said. “I distinctly remember her stating that she was not going to let that disappointment happen again. I often commented to her that she needed to publish a book and title it, ‘Erin Doruska’s guide on how to dramatically improve in one year’. She went from (not) qualifying to podium finishes at state.” Doruska is now a junior on the Bryant University women’s swimming and diving team. As a freshman, she was named the NEC Rookie of the Week three times and helped the team to a gold medal in the 800 freestyle relay at the NEC Championships. Last year, she won bronze medals in both the 200 freestyle and the 100 freestyle at the NEC Championships. She’s a member of the NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
Elwell was a standout distance swimmer at Ankeny before the school district even had its own pool. She was a two-time state runner-up in the 200 freestyle in 1984-85. As a freshman, she posted a time of 1:55.82 that stood as a school record for many years. “I was a member of the Des Moines Aquatic Club and coached by gold medalist Mike Burton, who lived in Ankeny,” Elwell said. “DMAC trained in downtown Des Moines at the Tech High School swimming pool. Mike Johnson (another former Ankeny star) was a member of this team. To qualify for state both years, I was required to swim in a high school meet and have an Ankeny teacher volunteer as my coach. My coach was Gary Naylor, and I swam in the seventh lane at Valley as a third team during one of their meets.”
Murphy was a two-time qualifier in the event. As a junior in 2001, she placed eighth with a time of 2:01.15. She finished 18th in the 500 freestyle and also swam a leg on Ankeny’s state champion 400 freestyle relay team that posted a time of 3:39.11, the 10th-fastest clocking ever in Iowa at the time. As a senior, she placed 17th in the 200 freestyle and 16th in the 100 breaststroke. “She was a fierce practice swimmer, which made Megan a great racer,” said Nordby, who is now the head boys’ lacrosse coach at Chisago Lakes High School in Lindstrom, Minn. “I’d put super tough sets up each week, and Megan wanted to make every interval regardless of how much pain she was in.”
200 individual medley: Jaryn Studer, Rachel Roth, Melissa Eggleston
Studer emerged as a potential star as a freshman in 2004, when she placed second in the event at the state meet in a time of 2:12.44, breaking the school record. She also swam on the winning 200 medley relay. As a sophomore, she took fifth in the 200 IM in 2:12.57. In 2006, Studer won a state title in the event in 2:09.32, setting a new school record that has stood for 15 years. She also swam on the winning medley relay, giving her a total of five state titles. Unfortunately, she suffered a broken collarbone less than three weeks into her senior season and missed the rest of the year. “Jaryn was impossible to tire out,” Stout said. “She had the ability to gauge her opponent and to know exactly when to push the pace for a win. Her racing savvy was some of the best I’ve seen.”
Roth joined the varsity team as a freshman in 1996, helping Ankeny to its first winning season. As a sophomore, she placed 13th in the event with a time of 2:19.96. In 1998, she improved to an eighth-place finish in 2:15.62, dropping more than 4 seconds from the previous year and setting a school record at the time. As a senior, Roth qualified for the state meet in the 100 butterfly instead of the 200 IM, placing 17th in that event. “She was a talented IMer, flyer and backstroker,” Nordby said. She earned the team’s Most Valuable Swimmer award for the fourth consecutive year.
Eggleston was a two-time top-10 finisher in the event. As a junior in 2002, she placed 10th in the 200 IM in a time of 2:18.12. She also swam on the third-place 200 medley relay that set a school record. In 2003, she took ninth in the 200 IM in 2:16.58. She also swam on the third-place 400 freestyle and fourth-place medley relays. “She was super dedicated and a mature team member,” Nordby said.
50 freestyle: Jasmine Rumley, Nicky Wieben, Alex Flatness
After placing third in the event as a freshman in 2016, Rumley went on to become a three-time state champion in the 50 freestyle. She won the first of her four individual state titles in a time of 22.93 seconds, then lowered her time to 22.64 and 22.53 in her final two seasons. As a senior, she was named the IGHSAU Athlete of the Year after Ankeny placed third in the team standings, its best performance ever under Stout. “That was the highest finish that I was a part of, and that’s one of my favorite memories,” Rumley said. “It was an amazing feeling knowing that all the work we had put into the season was paying off and knowing that as seniors Scout (Bergwall), Sydney (Jorgensen) and I were able to lead our state team to a third-place finish.” In 2017, she recorded an all-time Iowa best of 22.29 in the regional meet at Trail Point Aquatics Center–which immediately produced some fast times in its first year of existence. Rumley was named the regional athlete of the year all four years during high school. She was also a softball and track standout at Ankeny, and she was earlier named to the Ankeny Fanatic all-time Ankeny softball team. She could have pursued that sport in college, but elected to join the Tennessee women’s swimming and diving team. “Jasmine is one of the top sprinters in the class, and as a three-sport athlete in high school we love the combination of elite speed, athleticism and competitiveness that she’ll bring to our team,” Tennessee coach Matt Kredich said at the time. “Like many of our Lady Vol greats, she’s proven to be a clutch relay performer and has performed best when the spotlight is brightest.”
Wieben followed in the footsteps of her older sister, Jamie, and became one of the state’s top sprinters from 2001-04. As a freshman, she placed sixth in the 50 freestyle in 25.06 seconds. She also anchored Ankeny’s third-place 200 medley relay, swimming the fastest split ever in school history. She again placed sixth in the 50 freestyle in 2002, posting a time of 24.97. As a junior, she qualified for state in the 100 backstroke instead of the 50 freestyle and went on to earn a third-place finish. In 2004, she won the 50 freestyle in 24.35, setting a school record. “She had pure speed and athleticism,” Nordby said. “Nicky was pretty intimidating at 6 feet 4 inches. She often had a half body length lead going into the turn of a 50 free sprint and would come out nearly a body length ahead against solid sprinters. I can’t remember anybody ever out-touching Nicky at the finish of a race.” She also swam the backstroke leg on the winning 200 medley relay to help the Hawkettes to their runner-up finish overall. Earlier, Wieben won the 200 freestyle and the backstroke as Ankeny captured its fourth consecutive CIML Central Conference title. She finished her career with six individual and seven relay conference titles. She was named the team’s Most Valuable Swimmer for the third straight year. “When you are a high school swimmer you are up in the morning at 5:15 for practice and not home until after 6 p.m. after afternoon practice,” Wieben said. “I remember always saying, ‘When I leave home it’s dark and when I get home it’s dark.’ The amount of discipline you have to have and maintain for a season is so vital for that sport. I honestly believe having that discipline has helped me in so many different aspects of life from playing basketball at Iowa State to now being a wife, mother and working full-time.”
Flatness was a two-time top-10 finisher in the event. As a junior in 2010, she placed eighth in a time of 24.92. She also swam on the fifth-place 200 freestyle relay that set a school record at the time. In 2011, she finished seventh in the 50 freestyle in 24.64. She also anchored the third-place 200 freestyle relay that lowered the AHS mark, posting the fastest split (23.67) among all swimmers in the race. She was named Ankeny’s Most Valuable Swimmer for the third consecutive year. “My favorite memories are from the relays we did at regionals and state, specifically my junior and senior year,” Flatness said. “I absolutely loved getting to go up to the blocks with my friends and watch them swim up close, cheering them on, and then gearing the next swimmer up for their leg. It really helped me get out of my head and just have fun, and wow, I get chills now thinking about watching whoever was the anchor finish when it was a close race–or being the anchor leg myself–and popping my head up to see my teammates’ reaction. That’s when I felt the most connected to my team and I really enjoyed the sport the most. (I think those wins were the most rewarding, compared to the individual races). It was a gift to get to swim with so many wonderful and talented ladies. Looking back, if I could do anything over again in the sport, it would be to swim a championship relay race with my girls one more time.” Flatness went on to compete at Iowa State, where she was the team captain in 2015-16 and earned all-Big 12 second-team honors in both the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays in 2015.
100 butterfly: Scout Bergwall, Marin Bisdorf, Xan Westercamp
Bergwall was a four-time state qualifier in the event. After placing 19th in the 100 butterfly as a freshman in 2016, she improved to an 11th-place finish as a sophomore. In 2018, she took fifth in the event in 57.15 seconds, which set a school record. She lowered the mark to 57.12 during the preliminaries at the 2019 state meet. “Scout worked at nailing down the race details,” Stout said. “She had the ability to work out all parts of a race and then combine them into a great race. She was always willing to help the team and teammates with those same small details that could make a big difference in their performances.” She then went on place seventh in the final in 57.75, helping the Hawkettes to a third-place finish overall. “The thing I remember the most when I think about high school swimming is always the weekend of state because that is when you get to see everyone perform at their best and feel your best, but the one that sticks out to me the most was my senior year,” Bergwall said. “That was the year we finally got third place and got a trophy, which was our goal all year and what we thought about and worked toward every day. It was one of the best feelings in the world, but that wasn’t the only thing that made it special. Our team truly came together in every single event, every single person placed the way we needed to or better, and each person on our team had a raspy voice because we cheered so much. Even for diving, the swimmers were not at the pool but we were all huddled around a computer on the bus ride up and watched the livestream and cheered on the bus for them. Every single person pulled through and did what they needed and helped in any way they could if that was swimming, cheering or helping people get ready mentally. Having everyone come together as a team and be so excited to get (third place) together made that trophy 100 times more meaningful.” Bergwall is now a sophomore on the Northern Iowa women’s swimming and diving team. She finished 12th in the 200 butterfly at the Missouri Valley Conference championships as a freshman.
Bisdorf was a three-time qualifier in the event. She placed 21st as a freshman in 2002, then took 14th as a sophomore. In 2004, she swam the butterfly leg on Ankeny’s state champion 200 medley relay, helping the Hawkettes to their runner-up finish overall behind Cedar Falls. As a senior, Bisdorf set a meet record of 1:01.49 to win the 100 butterfly at the CIML Central Conference meet. She finished her career with three individual and eight relay conference titles. She went on to place fifth at the state meet in 1:00.70, setting a school record at the time. “She was a physically and mentally tough butterflyer and awesome sprinter,” Nordby said. “Marin knew how to push through pain. During a weightlifting session, she partially tore her meniscus pad in her knee, but within a week she was back in the water racing for Ankeny. She was a great team member who always swam her fastest times at state.”
Westercamp made a sensational debut for the Hawkettes in 2012, when she set a school record of 1:00.16 in the event in her first varsity meet as a freshman. “I expected Xan to take a shot at that record, but I didn’t expect her to break it in the first meet,” Stout said at the time. She went on to place 10th at the state meet in 1:00.69. As a sophomore, she took fifth in the 100 butterfly in 57.39, setting a new AHS mark. She helped Ankeny tie for 15th place at both of those meets. “Xan flew through the water,” Stout said. “She had a natural feel for the water.”
100 freestyle: Jasmine Rumley, Nicky Wieben, Jamie Wieben
Rumley was a four-time state placewinner in the event and capped off her career by winning a state title in 2019 in 49.03 seconds, which set a state record. She was sixth in the 100 freestyle as a freshman, then took second in each of the next two years–losing both times to Ames standout Amy Feddersen. In 2018, Feddersen came from behind to win the race in 49.75, edging Rumley by two-hundredths of a second. Still, Rumley earned automatic all-American honors and broke the school record that she lowered again the following year. “Jasmine simply lit up the room everywhere she went, whether it was the pool, the weight room or the classroom,” Stout said. “Her positive attitude was contagious. Her power in the water–and off the starting blocks–was spectacular. She was very supportive of her team. Girls still talk about her impact on their swimming career.” She finished her career as a five-time state champion. “I think one of my top memories was breaking the 100 free record,” Rumley said. “It is something I had been going after for a while and when I dove in I knew it was going to be good–the water felt amazing. I remember touching the wall, looking up and just not believing I had just done that. I looked at my mom and she was so excited and so proud, and looking at my teammates jumping and screaming, it reminded me why I loved swimming and why I had put so much time and effort into that team.” Let’s make Rumley the co-captain of our all-time team.
Nicky Wieben joined her sister Jamie on the winning 400 freestyle relay as a freshman in 2001. She swam the opening leg in 54.68, the second-fastest 100 freestyle time in school history. “That’s by far my best memory of swimming at Ankeny,” Wieben said. “Jamie told me if I got us a lead then she would finish it, because she was the anchor. I led off and swam the fastest 100 free time of my career and got us the lead. I got out and looked at her and said, ‘Your turn.’ She was swimming against Roosevelt’s anchor, Katie Martin, who had beat her earlier in an event. So those two went head-to-head and Jamie barely outreached (Martin) and we won! It was my first state title, and it was with my sister.” As a sophomore, she placed sixth in the 100 freestyle in 54.30. In 2003, she took third in the event in 54.05. Then, as a senior, she won the 100 freestyle in 52.99 to break Jamie’s school record. She finished her career as a four-time state champion. “I remember a quote from one of her teammates that says it all about Nicky: ‘She doesn’t know how to lose,'” Stout said. “Time after time she’d find herself behind in a race or relay but found a way to win. She was great at encouraging teammates, too. It was a real confidence-booster for those kids.” Wieben was also a basketball star who led Ankeny to a record four consecutive Class 4A state titles in that sport and was later inducted into the IGHSAU Basketball Hall of Fame. She went on to play basketball at Iowa State, and she was earlier named the captain of the five-player team on the Ankeny Fanatic all-time Ankeny girls’ basketball squad. In 2006, she was ranked No. 8 by the Ankeny Register & Press Citizen on the list of Ankeny High School’s 50 greatest athletes.
Jamie Wieben joined the varsity as a freshman in 1998 and helped Ankeny to place ninth at the state meet, the first top-10 finish in school history. She took 11th in the 100 freestyle in 55.32 seconds, setting a school record at the time. She also swam the leadoff leg on the eighth-place 200 freestyle relay, setting the school record in the 50 freestyle with a split of 25.38. As a sophomore, she placed ninth in the 50 freestyle in 25.42. In 2000, she took 15th in the 50 freestyle and also swam on the sixth-place 200 freestyle relay that set a school record. She swam the leadoff leg in 25.02, again breaking the AHS mark in the 50 freestyle. As a senior, she placed second in the 100 freestyle in 53.01, setting another school record that Nicky eventually erased three years later. She also anchored the winning 400 freestyle relay and swam on the third-place 200 medley relay which broke two more marks. “Jamie was a fierce competitor,” Stout said. “I can remember how she did a such a great job in getting teammates fired up for racing, especially during relays.”
500 freestyle: Julie Elwell, Maddie Carleton, Gwen Sorensen
Elwell was also a two-time state runner-up in the 500 freestyle. “I placed second behind either Jennifer Linder or Ann Walker in both of my events both years,” Elwell said. “Both girls were friends and teammates at DMAC.” In 1984, Elwell posted a time of 5:05.67 in the event–another mark that stood as a school record for many years. She went on to swim at Iowa State as a freshman and sophomore. Elwell was happy when Ankeny finally started a girls’ swimming program. “During the early 80s parents in Ankeny–like my mom, JoAnn–were constantly and seriously raising money to build a high school pool to bring this sport to Ankeny,” Elwell said. “They worked hard for the community. I hoped participating in the state meet would help this cause.”
Currently a senior on the Ankeny squad, Carleton is bidding to become a four-time qualifier in this event. She placed 15th as a freshman in 2018. As a sophomore, she set a school record in the 500 freestyle by posting a time of 5:04.93 in the preliminaries at the state meet. She then went on to place sixth in the final in 5:05.46. Last year, she finished 10th in the event. “Maddie is a powerhouse,” Stout said. “I remember a conversation we had early in her freshman year about breaking the 500 freestyle school record. She thought maybe by her senior year she would have a shot at it. She broke the record her sophomore year.”
Sorensen placed 13th at the state meet in 2009 with a time of 5:25.49. She also took 20th in the 100 breaststroke and swam on the 18th-place 400 freestyle relay. “Gwen was a quiet girl, but was a lion in the water,” Stout said. “She almost always had a smile on her face.”
200 freestyle relay: Nikki Ault, Christina Ware, Erin Doruska and Jasmine Rumley teamed up to win a state title in the event in 2017. They set a school record with a time of 1:35.19, earning automatic all-American honors.
100 backstroke: Jamie Wieben, Sarah Shafer, Alexis Henning
Wieben was a four-time state placewinner in the event. After placing 11th as a freshman in 1998, she took seventh as a sophomore in a time of 1:01.73. In 2000, she won CIML Central Conference titles in both the 50 freestyle and the 100 backstroke. She later placed sixth in the backstroke at the state meet in 1:00.56. As a senior, she won a state title in the event in 58.21 seconds, which broke the school record and was the fourth-fastest time in state history. She helped the Hawkettes to a fourth-place finish, the first top-five finish in school history, and was named the IGHSAU Athlete of the Year. She was also selected Ankeny’s Most Valuable Swimmer for the third straight year. “She had high standards of training and racing,” Nordby said. “Between her junior and senior years, Jamie really dedicated herself to becoming the best and she did. She was the Ankeny girls’ first individual state champion and was voted Iowa high school Swimmer of the Year. Jamie loved sprint training with fins on and for the 25 back with fins, she pushed to break 12 seconds. Very few were quicker than Jamie off the start.” Wieben went on to swim at Iowa State.
Shafer was a two-time top-10 finisher in the event. As a sophomore in 2014, she placed eighth in a time of 58.82 seconds. She earned a fourth-place finish as a junior, posting a time of 58.24. She earlier set a school record of 58.06 at the regional meet. She was also a three-time qualifier in the 50 freestyle. She placed ninth in that event in 2016, helping the Hawkettes to a sixth-place finish overall. She tied the school record in that event in 2014, when she placed 11th in 24.35 seconds. As a sophomore, she led the team in scoring with 101 points and was named Ankeny’s Most Valuable Swimmer. “Sarah had amazing kicking power under the water,” Stout said. “She could move tremendous amounts of water. She was the gold standard for our team.”
Now a senior on the Ankeny team, Henning has a chance to become a four-time qualifier in the event. She placed 14th as a freshman in 2018, then took 12th as a sophomore. In 2020, she set a school record of 57.68 during the preliminaries at the state meet. “My favorite memory was when I got the school record,” Henning said. “That was one of my best accomplishments during my high school swim career.” She then went on to place eighth in the final in 58.93. Henning also qualified for the state meet in the 200 individual medley as a freshman and in the 50 freestyle in 2019-20. “Alexis has many gifts,” Stout said. “She holds the school record in the 100 backstroke, but is solid at all four strokes. She could excel at literally any event.”
100 breaststroke: Jaryn Studer, Melissa Eggleston, Rachel Manderscheid
Studer was a two-time state champion in the event. She placed third in the 100 breaststroke as a freshman in 2004, when she posted a time of 1:08.76 that set a school record. As a sophomore, she won her first individual state title and broke her own school record with a time of 1:07.12. In 2006, she defended her crown and again set a new school record, turning in a time of 1:05.66 that still stands as the AHS mark. She was named the team’s Most Valuable Swimmer for the second straight year and became Ankeny’s first individual all-American swimmer in Nordby’s final season at the school. “One word: Driven,” Nordby said. “Jaryn trained hard year-round and set her sights on becoming a state champion in breaststroke and IM. The harder the sets, the tougher she swam in practices. Jaryn was mentally tough to beat, especially in the later stages of a race.” After missing the state meet in 2007 due to an injury, Studer went on to swim at West Virginia, where she earned all-Big East Conference honors. Let’s make her the co-captain of our all-time team along with Rumley.
Eggleston was a two-time top-five finisher in the event. As a junior in 2002, she took fourth in a time of 1:09.11, breaking the school record that she set earlier in the season. Then, as a senior, she placed fifth in a time of 1:10.69. She was named the team’s Most Valuable Swimmer along with Nicky Wieben for the second straight year. “Melissa sacrificed a lot to swim her senior year for Ankeny, living with her sister once her parents moved to Minnesota for job requirements,” Nordby said. “She had joined us her junior year from a St. Louis suburb and quickly became a leader for the team through her strong work ethic.” Eggleston was also among the Ankeny swimmers who went on to coach the Ankeny club team (Aquahawks), giving back to so many others. “I have great memories of Melissa, Megan Murphy and Gwen Sorensen teaching kids the fundamentals of competitive swimming and traveling to meets all over the state,” Stout said. “These girls truly had passion and commitment for the sport.”
Manderscheid was a four-time state qualifier and a two-time top-10 finisher in the event. She placed 12th as a freshman in 2012 with a time of 1:09.48, then took 14th as a sophomore in 1:09.16. In 2014, she placed fourth in a time of 1:07.16. She then took sixth as a senior in 1:07.36, helping the Hawkettes to a fifth-place finish overall. She also swam on the runner-up 200 medley relay team that set a school record. “Rachel loved competitive swimming and shared her passion with the team,” Stout said. “She selflessly stayed after practices to help teammates with technical aspects of their races. She went on to swim in college and stopped in frequently to check on the team and share any new tips she learned that she thought would be helpful.”
400 freestyle relay: Nikki Ault, Christina Ware, Erin Doruska and Jasmine Rumley raced to a third-place finish at the 2017 state meet after the same foursome earlier won the 200 freestyle relay. They set a school record with a time of 3:29.86, which earned all-American consideration.
Diving: Sydney Jorgensen
Ankeny has only had a diving squad since 2017, when the new pool at Trail Point opened. Jorgensen, a former gymnast, joined the team as a senior in 2019 and enjoyed a spectacular season. She won the state title with a score of 513.20 points, helping the Hawkettes to a third-place finish overall. “I think my favorite memory from that season was the bus ride home from the state meet,” Jorgensen said. “A lot of people don’t realize that before we placed third as a team, we had come in fourth for two years in a row before that. Always coming so close to a trophy but coming up short. To finally load a trophy onto that bus was so rewarding for the team, especially for the senior class that had worked so hard for it over the past four years. I can remember how electric the bus ride back was, with music blaring and all of us singing at the top of our lungs. We had finally accomplished our ultimate goal of the season and only did so because all of us dove or swam our hearts out that day.” Jorgensen set the school record for 11 dives with a total of 524.10 at the regional meet. She also set the school mark for six dives with a score of 318.00 during a dual meet against Dowling Catholic. At the state meet, she overcame a mishap before the competition began. “Sydney had amazing grit,” Stout said. “While changing into her suit in the locker room, she managed to find a puddle of water. She slipped and caught the sharp end of a bench and ended up with a large gash on her leg. We patched her up as best we could, but it had to be painful. She ended up winning the state championship.” Jorgensen is now a member of the TCU women’s swimming and diving team.
200 medley relay: Xan Westercamp, Rachel Manderscheid, Lizzie Doering and Sarah Shafer teamed up for a second-place finish at the state meet in 2015. They set a school record at the time of 1:46.24, which earned all-American consideration.
200 freestyle: Christina Ware, Nikki Ault, Maddie Carleton
Ware was a versatile freestyler who could swim both the sprint and distance events. As a senior in 2017, she placed 12th in the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:55.96. She also took 11th in the 100 freestyle and swam the leadoff leg on the winning 200 freestyle relay. As a freshman, she placed 12th in the 500 freestyle. “Christina was an athlete through and through,” Stout said. “During our dryland (out of the water) conditioning, she would especially excel in running sets. I remember an early morning practice that we were able to get out on the track. She was so far ahead of the rest of the team that we could barely spot her on the other side of the track. She was strong in and out of the water.” Ware now competes for St. Cloud State, where she earned NCAA Division II all-American honors in both the 200 and 400 freestyle relays in 2019. She swam on the winning 400 freestyle relay at the NSIC championships in 2020.
Ault was a three-time state qualifier in the event. As a freshman in 2014, she placed 19th in a time of 1:58.30. She also qualified in the 100 freestyle. In 2015, she took 18th in the 200 freestyle in 1:58.12. As a junior, she again lowered her time in the event, placing 23rd in 1:58.07. She also took 17th in the 100 freestyle. “My favorite memory from high school swimming is 100 percent the Friday morning breakfasts and the potlucks after our home meets,” Ault said. “The parents would rotate who made the cheesy potatoes each week because they all knew they were our favorite.” In 2017, she qualified in all three relays. “Nikki was generous with her time and talent,” Stout said. “She was a calm, steady force on the team as well. I asked her to swim on three relays when she was a senior. To do that, she had to give up a chance to qualify in one of her individual events. She selflessly agreed to do this to help her team.” She swam the second leg on the state champion 200 freestyle relay. “That’s my favorite memory from the swimming aspect,” Ault said. “It was an incredible feeling to win such a close race with the people who you’ve trained side-by-side with the past four months. The camaraderie we had together was what made me want to continue to compete at a collegiate level, and build those unwavering relationships with teammates.” She is now competing for Minnesota State, where she placed second in the 100 backstroke at the NSIC championships in 2020.
Carleton is trying to become a four-time qualifier in this event as well. She placed 22nd as a freshman in 2018, then improved to a ninth-place finish as a sophomore, when she posted a time of 1:55.63 while helping the Hawkettes to a third-place finish overall. She finished 17th as a junior. “My favorite memory from my high school swimming career was when the team got third at state my sophomore year,” Carleton said. “It was so much fun and everyone was super happy!”
200 individual medley: Amanda Johnson, Jen Daugherty, Rachel Rolow
Johnson was a three-time state qualifier in the event. She placed 16th as a freshman in 2003, posting a time of 2:19.47. She took 11th as a sophomore in 2:17.62 and finished 10th as a junior in 2:18.18. She was a two-time qualifier in the 100 backstroke, including a sixth-place finish in 2004. She qualified in the 100 breaststroke in 2005, then qualified in the 50 freestyle and the 100 butterfly in her final season. “Amanda was someone who was strong and steady,” Stout said.
Daugherty was a four-time state qualifier in the 100 backstroke, but she placed 23rd in the 200 IM as a junior in 2006, posting a time of 2:23.85. She also qualified in the 200 freestyle as a sophomore. “Jen loved to race,” Stout said. “It was important to her to contribute to her team.” In 2004, she took ninth in the backstroke in 1:02.89. She placed seventh in 1:02.30 in 2005. Daugherty finished 12th in the backstroke in each of her last two seasons. “She was an all-around swimmer who trained all the strokes but really excelled at back,” Nordby said. “Jen had a smooth backstroke but just motored through the water.”
Rolow is currently a junior on the Ankeny squad. As a freshman in 2019, she placed 29th in the 200 freestyle and 23rd in the 100 backstroke. She also swam on the seventh-place 400 freestyle relay that allowed the Hawkettes to wrap up a third-place finish overall. “Our relay was in the 11th seed position and before the event started, our team was in fourth place overall,” Rolow said. “In order to move the team into third place, our relay had to place seventh or higher. Everyone on the relay knew this. We knew that we each had to go 54 seconds or faster. We were 100 percent psyched up. We swam our relay–all of us swam personal bests and we all swam 53s and 54s. Our relay won our heat! So at that point, we were in ninth place. One more heat to go. Our time had to be faster than at least two relays from the final heat in order for Ankeny to finish in third place overall. It all came down to this. The entire team watched the clock as relay after relay touched the wall. As a group, we counted each touch. As a group, we watched the clock. The fourth relay touched, then the fifth, then the sixth–all faster than our time. This was it. Would the next relay finish with a faster time or slower time than us? We were all standing there together watching as the next relay touched. We waited for their time to come up…and it was slower than ours! WE DID IT! Ankeny placed third! Everyone was cheering and screaming and hugging. It was really amazing to be a part of such an incredible team.” Rolow then qualified in four events as a sophomore. She took 17th in the 200 individual medley in a time of 2:14.26. She also finished 26th in the backstroke and swam on the 12th-place 200 freestyle and 10th-place 400 freestyle relays. “Rachel is an example of someone understanding and appreciating her athletic gifts,” Stout said. “She comes to practice, expecting and ready to improve. She soaks up every bit of coaching advice that she’s given.”
50 freestyle: Marin Bisdorf, Allie Hable, Lizzie Doering
Bisdorf was a two-time placewinner in the event. As a junior in 2004, she battled back from a knee injury to place eighth in 25.27 seconds. Then, as a senior, she took fourth in 24.82. She also swam on the fifth-place 200 freestyle relay that set a school record at the time. “Marin poured her heart and soul into swimming,” Stout said. “Giving 110 percent was in this girl’s DNA in practices and meets. Her persistence and determination is truly memorable.”
Hable was a four-time qualifier in the event who gradually improved her time every year. As a freshman in 2007, she placed 10th in 25.44 seconds. As a sophomore, she took 14th in 25.35. In 2009, she posted a time of 25.11, allowing her to tie teammate Brittney Buckner for seventh place. She then placed fourth as a senior in 24.61. She also swam on the fifth-place 200 freestyle relay that set a school record at the time. “Allie was a great short distance sprinter,” Stout said. “At the time, we attended an invitational that featured a 25 freestyle as an event at the end of the meet. She won this a number of times. Her starting power off the blocks was incredible. One of the best memories I have of Allie came her senior year. At the end of the state meet she turned to me and said, ‘I wish this didn’t have to end.'”
Doering was a two-time qualifier in the event. In 2014, she placed 16th in 24.61 seconds. She also anchored the 14th-place 200 freestyle relay. She then placed fifth the following year in the 50 freestyle in 24.03, which set a school record at the time. “Lizzie was a great sprinter at an early age,” Stout said. “She was able to generate a tremendous amount of energy.”
100 butterfly: Amber Daugherty, Amanda Johnson, Abby Ackermann
Daugherty was a two-time qualifier in the event. As a sophomore in 2004, she placed ninth in a time of 1:02.52. She finished 18th as a junior. “She was a hard-working flyer who always got us points in the 100 fly,” Nordby said. “Late in the race when others started really dropping off their pace, Amber stayed strong and really focused on technique and getting her hands to the wall.” She was also a two-time qualifier in the 200 IM, placing 14th in 2005 in 2:19.61. “Amber was a gifted flyer,” Stout said. “She loved being part of the team and worked to be a good friend to the other girls.”
Johnson placed 11th in the event as a senior in 2006, posting a time of 1:01.82. She also swam on a pair of state champion 200 medley relay squads in 2004 and 2006. As a sophomore, she swam the final 50 yards in 24.90 seconds to anchor Ankeny to a come-from-behind victory. “She was very versatile. Amanda was the Swiss army knife of the team,” Nordby said. “We could plug her into most any event, and she would pick up points for us. She was a great freestyle sprinter on relays and a strong backstroker.”
Ackermann placed 15th in the event as a sophomore in 2001, turning in a time of 1:03.13. She also took 23rd in the 200 IM. “Abby was someone who could build bridges and give cohesion to the team,” Stout said. “She was one of the most positive young women I’ve coached.” During her high school career, Ackermann qualified for state in seven different relay events. She swam on the sixth-place 200 freestyle relay as a freshman, swam on the third-place 200 medley relay and the fifth-place 200 freestyle relay in 2001, and later capped off her career by swimming on the third-place 400 freestyle relay in 2003. “She was another versatile swimmer who could swim many different events when points were needed,” Nordby said. “Abby had a real natural fly stroke and made it look effortless.”
100 freestyle: Alex Flatness, Erin Doruska, Lizzie Doering
Flatness was a four-time qualifier and a three-time top-five finisher in the event. After placing 20th as a freshman in 2008, she took fifth as a sophomore in 53.33 seconds. In 2010, she placed third in 53.59. Then, as a senior, she took second in 52.68–setting a school record at the time. “Alex was as humble as she was strong,” Stout said. “She always came through in the big races. Her tapers during the championship phase of our season for regionals and state were amazing.”
Doruska was a two-time placewinner in the event. As a junior in 2017, she took seventh in a time of 52.51 seconds. Then, as a senior, she placed third in 50.91, earning all-American consideration. She also swam on the third- and fourth-place 400 freestyle relays in her final two seasons.
Doering was a two-time qualifier in the event. She placed 20th in 2014 in 55.14 seconds. Then, the next year, she took fifth in 53.34. She also swam the leadoff leg on the seventh-place 400 freestyle relay that set a school record.
500 freestyle: Shea Yuran, Jessie Stout, Andrea Rodriguez
Yuran was a three-time state qualifier in the event. As a freshman in 2015, she placed 13th in a time of 5:17.08. In 2016, she took 24th in 5:21.11. She also placed 20th in the 100 backstroke. As a senior in 2018, she placed 21st in the 500 freestyle in 5:24.33. “Shea moved to Ankeny from out of state and made an immediate impact on our team,” Stout said. “I remember defeating Johnston at a dual meet and the Johnston coach specifically asking me about Shea. She hadn’t counted on Shea for the points she brought to our Ankeny team for our win.”
Stout, the daughter of coach Stout, was a four-time qualifier in the event. She placed 17th in both 2008 and 2009, then took 18th as a junior before finishing 20th as a senior in a time of 5:28.18. She also placed 18th in the 200 individual medley as a freshman and was a four-time qualifier in the 200 medley relay, placing 11th or higher all four years. “Jessie had high expectations of herself and teammates,” said coach Stout. “She was very business-like and methodical in her training. I could always count on her focus and leading the team through meets and practices. She set team records in several test sets throughout her high school career.” She went on to compete for Western Illinois.
Rodriguez was a three-time state qualifier in the event. As a sophomore in 2016, she placed 16th in a time of 5:17.80. She then took 21st as a junior in 5:21.52. In 2018, she placed 13th in a time of 5:16.27. She also qualified in the 200 individual medley, placing 25th in that event. “Andrea brought a crazy amount of energy to the team,” Stout said. “She had a way of getting girls to come together and make everyone around her better. She made sure everyone on the team felt valued and appreciated.”
200 freestyle relay: Nikki Ault, Christina Ware, Sarah Shafer and Jasmine Rumley teamed up for a second-place finish at the state meet in 2016. They set a school record at the time of 1:36.54, which also earned all-American consideration.
100 backstroke: Rachel Roth, Ashley Johnson, Michelle Lacy
Roth was a three-time top-10 finisher in the event. As a sophomore in 1997, she placed seventh in a time of 1:02.25, which set a school record at the time. In 1998, she lowered the record to 1:00.27 en route to a fourth-place finish. “Rachel really trained her underwater dolphin kick to become the fastest kicker in the state,” Nordby said. “During her junior year, she was in eighth place going into the final turn of the 100 back, flipped, dolphin kicked underwater for 13 yards and passed four girls while underwater to take fourth.” She helped Ankeny to a ninth-place finish overall, its highest finish to that point. As a senior, she took 10th in the backstroke in a time of 1:02.41.
Johnson was a four-time state qualifier in the event. After placing 15th as a freshman in 2005, she took ninth as a sophomore in a time of 1:01.68. She finished 15th as a junior and 24th in 2008. She was also a four-time qualifier in the 200 medley relay, helping Ankeny to top-eight finishes all four years. As a sophomore, she swam the leadoff leg for the state champion relay, which also included her sister, Amanda. “She was a great sprint backstroker on the medley relay and 100 back,” Nordby said. “She had a powerful turnover and great kick.” As a senior, Ashley also helped the Hawkettes to a 10th-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay.
Lacy was a three-time qualifier in the event. As a freshman in 2004, she placed 13th in a time of 1:04.18. She was one of the top qualifiers in 2005–earning a No. 6 seed–but was disqualified for a false start. As a junior, she took 13th again in a time of 1:03.16. She earned the team’s Spirit Award. “She had a lot of natural speed in the backstroke and had a great rhythm to her stroke,” Nordby said.
100 breaststroke: Anja Peck, Sarah Van Oort, Natalie Funk
Currently a sophomore on the Ankeny squad who also competes in cross country during the fall, Peck is a talented breaststroker with a bright future in the event. She placed seventh at the state meet as a freshman with a time of 1:07.65. “Anja is a unique athlete in that she is a state qualifier in two different sports-in the same season,” Stout said. “She has the ability to train and compete in two grueling sports. Her willingness to make changes to get better have been fun to watch.” She also swam the breaststroke leg on the fifth-place 200 medley relay that was clocked in 1:48.35. “The small moments with the team toward the end of the year are really fun,” Peck said. “I love the atmosphere, and it’s always so exciting! Practices are fun, taper is fun, suiting up is fun, and the group gets really close. The night before state we blow up lots of balloons and put them in the pool and swim in them, and that is super fun! And, of course, state itself is always so hype and lots of positive energy. It’s just really fun to be a part of!” She is currently ranked 10th in the state with a time of 1:08.50 and has already met the qualifying standard for the state meet.
Van Oort was a three-time state qualifier in the event. As a sophomore in 1994, she placed 11th in a time of 1:10.77, which set a school record at the time. She again took 11th as a junior in 1:11.40. Earlier that season, she lowered her school record to 1:10.46 during a dual-meet win over Newton. She was named the team’s Most Valuable Swimmer for the second year in a row. In 1996, she capped off her career with a 12th-place finish in 1:12.57. She also swam on the 14th-place 200 freestyle relay. “She worked really hard at all the strokes but especially the breaststroke,” Nordby said. “She was a friend to all on the team and other competitors. She represented Ankeny as the lone swimmer at the 1995 state meet and was able to score points for us.”
Funk was a two-time state qualifier in the event. As a junior in 2001, she placed 21st in a time of 1:14.36. She also swam on the third-place 200 medley relay that set a school record at the time. In 2002, she took 13th with a time of 1:11.27. “Natalie was analytical and knew that a good way to improve was through attention to details,” Stout said. “She paid close attention to all parts of her stroke and her race, looking for ways to improve.” Funk helped the Hawkettes to a sixth-place finish overall and was named to the academic all-state team. “She was a mentally tough practice swimmer who became a great breaststroke racer,” Nordby said.
400 freestyle relay: Nikki Ault, Christina Ware, Sarah Shafer and Jasmine Rumley combined for a fifth-place finish at the state meet in 2016. They set a school record at the time of 3:33.48.
Diving: Erica Peters
Peters is a three-time state qualifier in the event. She placed 14th as a freshman in 2018 (386.35), took 14th again as a sophomore (405.90) and then placed sixth as a junior (446.60). Now a senior, she is already off to a good start this season. She defended her title at the Johnston Invitational on Aug. 23, racking up a score of 459.90 to win by nearly 70 points. She went undefeated in her first five meets before placing second in the Tiger Tanker Invitational on Sept. 25 at Valley, where she recorded a personal-best score of 503.80. She held the school record for both six and 11 dives until Jorgensen broke the marks in 2019. Like Jorgensen, Peters is a former gymnast. “This helped me tremendously when I started diving because I already was accustomed to flipping and had good air awareness,” Peters said. She is also a three-time state qualifier in the 100 breaststroke who placed 16th in that event as a freshman in a time of 1:11.64. “I have been racing competitively since I was seven, so I have gained lots of experience to improve my strokes and endurance,” Peters said. “Over the years, I developed a love for both sports, so I continued to do them in high school.” In 2019, she swam the breaststroke leg on the 200 medley relay that placed third at the state meet and set a school record. “Erica is a rare athlete in our sport that is a state qualifier in both swimming and diving,” Stout said. “Those unfamiliar with these two sports mistakenly believe they are similar. Both require different skill sets, and she has managed to master them both.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Ankeny Fanatic teams were selected by publisher Dan Holm, who consulted with former and current coaches before making his picks.)