Saturday’s non-conference dual meet at Linn-Mar (Marion) was a good test for the Ankeny boys’ swimming team.
The fourth-ranked Hawks, who will return to eastern Iowa in four weeks for the state meet, earned perhaps their biggest win of the season with a 90-80 victory over No. 5 Linn-Mar. They finished the dual-meet schedule with an overall record to 4-3-1, moving above the .500 mark for the first time in the 2022-23 campaign.
“We swam really well,” said Ankeny coach Justin Crouch. “I feel like this will be a good omen for the rest of the year as we will be back in eastern Iowa for the state meet. This was was a great practice run for the end of championship season.”
Ankeny relied on its depth to win the meet. The Hawks captured just five of the 11 events, but had a lot of runner-up and third-place finishes.
Ankeny swept the individual freestyle events and also won the 200 freestyle relay.
“We were shorthanded with other activities taking place so to travel over to eastern Iowa and beat a quality opponent was a true accomplishment,” Crouch said.
Ankeny’s Lance Swanepoel swept the sprint events. He took the 50 freestyle in 21.50 seconds, then won the 100 freestyle in 46.58.
Swanepoel edged Linn-Mar freshman Hudson Huberg in both of those events.
“Hudson is a great swimmer, and I’m happy I got to compete with a kid like him,” said Swanepoel. “He definitely gave me a challenge, but I was very confident heading into both races. Those times were top-notch–as of last year my 46.5 would have been a PR so I’m very happy that I can test the waters as a 100 free guy. I expected a test, and I got about what I expected.”
Owen Schwebach swept the distance events. He won the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:47.83, then later took the 500 freestyle in 4:55.32.
Schwebach won both races by several seconds.
“I had a tough schedule swimming back-to-back twice,” Schwebach said.
After winning the 500 freestyle, Schwebach then anchored the winning 200 freestyle relay. He teamed up with Swanepoel, Owen Evans and Noah Schafer to win the race in a time of 1:28.19.
Linn-Mar was second in 1:28.71. The Lions were ahead after the third leg, but Schwebach swam the final 50 yards in 21.21 to pass Huberg.
“I saved myself slightly at the end of the 500 which allowed me to have one of my fastest 50 splits of my life to close out the 200 free relay,” Schwebach said. “It was awesome to bring home the win at our last dual meet.”
Ankeny’s Brock Peterson placed second in both the 200 individual medley (2:04.78) and the 100 backstroke (55.45). The Hawks also got second-place finishes from Calvin Howard in the 100 butterfly (54.63) and Bryer Pearson in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.07).
“I am continuing to love this team’s ability to compete in tough circumstances,” Crouch said. “They truly rise to the occasion.”
The Hawks will compete in the CIML Conference meet on Saturday at Southeast Polk.