116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MARION - Megan Lewis left the Linn-Mar Aquatic Center with the regional championship banner drapped over her shoulder.
Somebody joked that it might be hard for Cedar Rapids Washington to get the banner from the veteran coach to hang in the school.
'Yeah, it might be,” she said with a laugh.
Lewis' Warriors got a huge break when both Cedar Falls and Dubuque Wahlert were disqualified in the 200-yard freestyle relay and they took advantage to edge the Tigers for the team title on Saturday afternoon.
Washington won just one event, but used its superior depth to finish with 364 points, eight more than the Tigers. Wahlert was third with 306 points.
The double disqualification resulted in a 48-point swing. The Tigers were in control of the meet until officials ruled they left the blocks too soon on one of the exchanges.
'That's part of swimming,” Lewis said of the disqualification. 'To be honest, to be as close as we were before (the DQ) was fun for us. Cedar Falls is a fantastic team and they have walked away with championships before today, so it was fun to beat them today.”
Ironically, the only win for the Warriors in the 11 events held Saturday, came in the 200 free relay, after the disqualifications. Wash relied on multiple points in each event to get the win
'In a meet that scores to 16 (places), it's not all about qualifying (for state),” Lewis said. 'Certainly, we want to get as many to state as we can, but winning today was about each girl dropping their times and doing the best they could do.”
One who saved her best for Saturday was Lauren Havertape. The senior, who attends Xavier, but swims for the Warriors because the Saints don't have a program, sawm the lead leg of the winning 200 free effort and her time of 1:05.84 in the 100 breaststroke broke a school record as she was edged out at the wall by the Tigers' Olivia Clark.
'Honestly, I didn't even know I could swim that fast,” she said. 'It was just an amazing feeling.”
Havertape said the Warriors believed they had a chance on Saturday.
'We had an idea that this was possible at the beginning of the season because we had so many good freshmen coming in,” Havertape said. 'We really had the opportunity this year to do something special and we took advantage of the break we got today.”
The regional title was the first for Washington in Lewis' 10 seasons coaching the Warriors.
'Obviously everything was set for today and next week (at the state meet),” Lewis said. 'The girls really came through today.”
Vinton-Shellsburg junior Arabella Shepard was a double individual winner taking the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke.
Clark and Dubuque Senior's Anna Pfeiffer shared regional swimmer of the year honors. The Linn-Mar coaching staff, led by head coach Chad Derlein, was selected the top staff in the region.