Tuesday’s Sprint Invitational at Trail Point Aquatics Center gave the Ankeny boys’ swimming team a huge test right off the bat.
The six-team meet featured three of the top four finishers from last year’s state meet.
“It was a great start to the season!” said Ankeny coach Dustin Rhoads. “It was cool to see the stands packed with fans to see a lot of the top teams and swimmers in the state! It was very fun to host!”
Waukee, the three-time defending state champion, won the meet for the third straight year, racking up 445 points. Valley, last year’s state runner-up, took second with 399.
Ankeny, which placed fourth at last year’s state meet, finished third on Tuesday with 348 points.
“I am happy with how we swam and competed,” Rhoads said. “On paper, where we finished was not surprising. Waukee and Valley are very good and strong teams, but we weren’t far off of them in a lot of areas. Now we have a base to start with and try to continue to improve on as we navigate our difficult meet schedule.”
Owen Schwebach had the Hawks’ lone victory in the 50 butterfly, posting a time of 23.26 seconds. He took second in the 25 freestyle in 9.94.
Brock Peterson placed third in the 100 individual medley in 55.97. He finished fourth in the 50 backstroke in 25.95.
Owen Evans took fourth in the 50 freestyle in 22.66. He placed fifth in the 25 freestyle in 10.56.
Bryer Pearson was fourth in the butterfly in 24.74. Finn Stukerjurgen placed fifth in the IM in 58.42, and Nicholas Robie finished sixth in the 50 breaststroke in 30.06.
Ankeny opened the meet with a runner-up finish in the 200 medley relay. The foursome of Peterson, Robie, Schwebach and Evans was clocked in 1:38.86.
The Hawks later placed third in the 400 freestyle relay. The quartet of Schwebach, Evans, Peterson and Stukerjurgen posted a time of 3:21.06.
“I am excited for this group’s potential,” Rhoads said. “They are pretty hungry and motivated, and our times tonight are already a big improvement from our intrasquad time trials last week. It helps to have great competition to push us which we will continue to see throughout the entire season!”
Five of the six teams at the meet won at least one event. Valley led the way with four victories as Jacob Pins swept the 200 and 100 freestyle events and later anchored the winning 400 freestyle relay.
Waukee’s Jake Hamling won the breaststroke and also swam on the winning medley relay. Dowling Catholic’s Nick Rounds won the backstroke and 25 freestyle.
“We have to keep working hard and focusing on all the minor details as well, but I’m confident this group will continue to improve and learn from this great experience tonight,” Rhoads said.
The Hawks will host Waukee in their CIML Conference opener on Nov. 30.