MARION — Jeremy Throndson insisted it was business as usual for the Cedar Rapids Washington boys’ swimming team for Saturday’s district meet at the Linn-Mar Aquatic Center.
Nobody would have blamed the Warriors if they had come into the meet with revenge on their minds. Linn-Mar ended the Warriors’ 53-year streak of winning district titles last year in a meet that went down to the final event.
“Whenever you come to a meet like this there is going to be a lot of competition,” said the Warrior junior. “Last year, we really proved ourselves at state.”
Washington went on to post a fourth-place finish at state and if Saturday’s strong district performance was any indication, the Warriors will be a state threat again.
Throndson captured both the 200 and 500-yard freestyle titles and the Warriors got strong performances up and down their lineup to recapture the district title in impressive fashion. Washington finished with 383 points, easily outdistancing Linn-Mar (332) and Muscatine.
Veteran Washington Coach Chris Cruise again relied on the program’s mantra of team focus.
“We had a fantastic meet,” said Cruise, who, along with his staff was honored as the best in the district after the meet.
“Our second and third swimmers really provided some great depth for us and of course the kids at the top of the lineup really stepped up and did their job.”
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No Warrior was better than Throndson. The junior shaved two seconds off his previous season best to win the 200 free in 1:44.26 and shaved nearly nine seconds off his 500 time, winning in 4:42.35.
“Obviously, I am pleased about my individual events today, but it is all about the team,” Throndson said. “Some of our guys weren’t even tapered for this meet, so I think we can do even better next week (at the state meet).”
Washington also got an individual win from Kaleb Donels in the 100 backstroke and also took top honors in the 200 medley relay. The depth of the Warriors showed as they had 11 top three finishes for the day.
“Jeremy Throndson had a great meet and Kaleb Donels swam really well,” Cruise said, also mentioning strong performances from George Durin, Ethan Ford and Zach Kolker.
Linn-Mar senior Matt Peng was voted as the district swimmer of the year. He finished first in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly and was on winning relay efforts in the 200 and 400 freestyle events.
“I feel very honored to have received the award,” Peng said. “There are a lot of very good swimmers here and it has been fun competing against them the last four years.”