Junior Brock Peterson has helped the Ankeny boys’ swimming team to a No. 7 ranking in the state with 3,232 power points. The Hawks boast a 3-4 dual-meet record, including a 1-2 mark in the CIML Conference.
Peterson is ranked 17th in Iowa in the 100 butterfly with a time of 54.48 seconds. He is 19th in the 100 backstroke (55.47) and 23rd in the 200 individual medley (2:03.66).
Here is some inside info on Peterson:
Did you do anything special for Christmas?
Over the holidays I spent time with family and friends. Some I haven’t seen in a while so it was good to catch up with them. My brother surprised us by coming home earlier than expected from the Navy, so that was nice.
How is the season going thus far?
It has been going well. The events I’ve been swimming are where I feel they need to be. I’m expecting, and hoping, for a huge time drop when we’re rested in February. As of now, practicing how I’ve been practicing will help me at the end of the season. As for the team, there’s no doubt we’ve lost some meets we could’ve won, but it’s super important we learn everything we can from those to be where we want to be in the end.
What has been the highlight for you?
Definitely my 200 IM win at the Iowa City Little Hawk Invitational meet (on Dec. 16). Kiefer Roemer of Bettendorf and I have been swimming against each other for many years now, so it was fun to race against him again. Invite meets are my favorite type of mid-season competition because of how many teams are swimming. It was huge to win that one for the team, followed with Finn (Stukerjurgen) and Nick (Robie)’s finishes (in fourth and sixth places, respectively) made it a perfect event for us.
Your team has already faced some of the best squads in the state, including three-time defending state champion Waukee. Do you think there’s a team capable of preventing Waukee from winning another crown?
I think this year will be interesting for sure. In the end, it’s going to come down to depth in the roster. You can have the favorite to win an event, but it won’t matter if another team has all three swimmers in the “A” final. There’s no question that Waukee still has the depth they’ve had for years, and I think there are guys who will step up for them. I will be curious to see (the number of qualifiers) for Iowa City West, Valley, Pleasant Valley and Linn-Mar (Marion). I think those teams are more than capable of making some noise against Waukee.
I know the holiday break is often a time for high school swimmers to put in some hard workouts. How are the practices going?
Practices have been very difficult–definitely some of the hardest practices I have ever had. This is exactly what we want, but we need to keep reminding ourselves of why we do it. It’s the perfect time to train hard, rest, and repeat. We’ve been taking things from every event and breaking it down into the practice. This is going to define us at state, and we’re going to be ready for it.
You have a new coach this year in Dustin Rhoads. Has it been an easy transition, and has he made many changes?
I couldn’t have asked for an easier transition. Of course, saying goodbye to coach (Justin) Crouch was hard, but if he felt like it was his time to leave there’s nothing this team or I should do but say thank you and wish him the best, especially after all he had done for the program. When coach Rhoads came in, it was super easy for us to get along with him. His background and resume in swimming is unreal, making it easy for us to put our trust in him. I think the changes that he made weren’t dramatically different, but very positive for our team. The biggest one in my opinion was tightening up the dress code and having everyone look the same for meets. This really unifies the team, and I back the change 100 percent. It’s made it easier having the same assistant coach as well. We are lucky to have the consistency of Steve Jones back from the previous years.
You are a two-time state qualifier in the 100 backstroke. Do you feel like that is your best event?
The 100 backstroke has always been one of my better events. On paper, the 200 freestyle and the 100 butterfly are my best events. I think when it comes to scoring at state for this team, the 100 back has been very consistent for me.
You placed 10th in the butterfly at last year’s state meet, but you seem to be focusing a little more on the 200 IM this season. Do you know which events you’ll be swimming at the district meet, or is that still to be determined?
This season, swimming the 200 IM has worked out really well for us. We want to score as many points as possible to finish above certain teams at state. I’ll continue to swim the 200 IM and the 100 fly in these last few meets. As for the district meet, we’ll see where I line up in either event to pick which one could score more points.
What are your goals for the rest of the season?
My big goal for the season is to end up mid-podium in both my events. My goal last year was to podium in the 100 fly, and I fell short. It really fueled the fire for this year, and I’m anxious for it. Time-wise, I’d like to get as close as possible to the 100 back school record–maybe even break it–but I want to leave this school with that record.
Are you planning to swim in college, and if so, have you looked at any schools yet?
I would love to swim in college if possible. I have been in touch with several schools. There are two specific programs I’m very interested in right now.
What are you going to study?
Right now, I’m taking classes to set me up to go down the paths of either physical therapy or something in the area of business.