Thursday’s dual meet at the Valley pool between the host Tigers and the Ankeny girls’ swimming team came down to the final event.
The fifth-ranked Hawkettes held an 87-85 lead going into the 400 freestyle relay, but No. 8 Valley won the race and also got a third-place finish from its ‘B’ relay to post a 95-91 victory.
Ankeny had finished 34 points ahead of the Tigers to place third in the Little Hawk Invitational on Saturday at Iowa City.
“It was a very spirited, competitive meet,” said Ankeny coach Justin Crouch. “I knew this was going to be a very close meet as Valley has a very good team. The positives were that the effort was outstanding and the girls really worked well together in difficult circumstances. With every positive comes a negative and I felt like we didn’t do the small things well tonight, which is a really difficult reality. I try to take pride in attention to detail. This week we have had a lot of distractions and that ultimately showed up tonight.”
Valley won the 400 freestyle relay in a time of 3:41.25. The Ankeny foursome of Josie Parton, Gracie Lindaman, Charlotte Huebsch and Rachel Rolow took second in 3:44.48.
The Tigers earlier won the 200 freestyle relay by a similar margin. They were clocked in 1:41.82, while the Ankeny team of Parton, Huebsch, Madison Trosper and Caroline Walker was the runner-up in 1:44.66.
“I felt like we were a little lackadaisical in our relay exchanges, attacking the turns and breakouts are starting to show some weakness when compared to some other competition,” said Crouch, whose team dropped to 0-3 in the CIML Conference and 1-3 overall. “I feel like swimming-wise and training-wise we are working very hard and the results will show. Finishing your races strongly matters. The starts and relay exchanges off the blocks matter. We all need to take ownership in our overall attention to detail and it starts with me, the coach.”
Ankeny opened the meet with a victory in the 200 medley relay. The quartet of Rolow, Kyra Zinn, Walker and Lindaman posted a time of 1:55.22.
Rolow won the 100 backstroke in 1:02.24. Lindaman was second in the event in 1:04.07.
Lindaman earlier took second in the 50 freestyle in 25.78 seconds. Rolow was the runner-up in the 200 individual medley in 2:14.22.
Walker won the 100 butterfly in a time of 1:03.21. Teammate Leah Schafer was second in 1:04.98.
Sydney Madetzke placed second in the 500 freestyle in 5:38.26. Zinn was the runner-up in the 100 breaststroke in 1:13.98.
The Hawkettes’ other win came in the diving event, where Hannah Kolars placed first with a total of 229.00 points.
“I have been talking to the girls about racing mentality and not letting one race dictate the fate of the rest of your races at that meet,” Crouch said. “I feel like when we get off to a good start, we have the potential of being a really competitive, tough team. As soon as something goes wrong and doesn’t necessarily go our way, a lot of doubt sets in.
“In this sport you have to look at a growth mindset and figure out what happens that went well and what could get better with the ultimate goal of improving your craft and continuing to get better,” he added.
The Hawkettes will return to Valley on Saturday to compete in the Tiger Tanker Invitational.