It’s been a challenging first month of the season for the Ankeny boys’ swimming team.
The eighth-ranked Hawks had already lost three dual meets to a trio of top-five opponents prior to Tuesday’s non-conference matchup against No. 7 Ames.
The visiting Little Cyclones dropped Ankeny’s overall record to 3-4 with a 104-66 victory at Trail Point Aquatics Center. They improved their own mark to 5-0 by winning nine of the 11 events.
“This was our last meet in a two-week meet cluster,” said Ankeny junior Brock Peterson. “The team is learning a lot from how the season is going, especially the younger guys. Most guys on the team have dealt with some type of sickness or injury this season, and it’s always hard swimming through those. If we learned to swim well through those now, we’ll have a lot of confidence toward the end of the season when we’re rested.”
Owen Schwebach provided both of the Hawks’ victories. He won the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:47.56, then later took the 100 butterfly in 51.65.
Peterson earned a pair of runner-up finishes. He posted times of 2:02.14 in the 200 individual medley and 54.97 in the 100 backstroke.
“The IM felt good, and I’m not upset with the time at all,” Peterson said. “I know I can push certain parts of that race harder so I’m excited to swim it again after break. I was able to swim a season-best in my 100 back so I can’t be mad at that. Obviously, it would’ve been nice to walk away with the win, but there’s a lot I can take away from that specific race. Overall, I’m excited to focus on my events in practice and learn from these past meets.
“Winter break is the perfect time to improve on those things so I’m ready to get to work,” he added.
Owen Evans placed second in both sprint events. He turned in times of 22.43 in the 50 freestyle and 49.10 in the 100 freestyle.
“My individual races were ok,” Evans said.
Finn Stukerjurgen took third in the 200 IM in 2:06.84. He also finished third in the 500 freestyle in 5:06.85.
Bryer Pearson was third in the butterfly. He was clocked in 54.47.
Nicholas Robie added a third-place finish in the 100 breaststroke. He posted a time of 1:05.62.
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 1:39.08.
The Little Cyclones won the event in 1:38.48.
“I think we could have won the medley if we pushed our starts like (Ames) did,” Evans said. “We had a lot of good times and some season-bests, but we’re looking for wins and not times.”
Schwebach, Peterson and Evans later teamed up with Roe Denny for a second-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay. The Hawks posted a time of 1:29.80.
Ankeny will now be off until Jan. 4, when the Hawks host a CIML Conference dual meet against Johnston on their Senior Night.
“I think the goal for our team now is to get healthy and prepare for our winter break training,” Peterson said. “If we push it here, we’ll be set up for success for the end of the season.”