116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Kirk Brotherton and Aiden Carstensen have raced numerous times.
With their prep careers quickly coming to a close, the chances to race are coming down to a precious few.
They went up against each other again in the 50-yard freestyle final at Saturday’s Mississippi Valley Conference boys’ swimming meet at the UI Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.
This time the win went to Brotherton. The Iowa City West standout avenged a loss to Linn-Mar’s Carstensen in a meet earlier this year, coming home in 20.93, just ahead of Carstensen, who finished in 21.33.
Brotherton’s win was one of six for Coach Byron Butler’s team as the second-ranked Trojans took the title with 444.5 points, easily outdistancing No. 4 Linn-Mar (255).
“It never gets old,” Butler said of defending the title they last won in 2020 (there was no MVC meet last year due to COVID-19). “I was really, really happy with how we performed. This was the first time this year we had our entire varsity team together for a meet.”
In a race like the 50 free, minor adjustments can make all the difference.
“It was really better execution on the flip turn,” Brotherton said. “I went out fast and that turn was much better this time. I’ve been racing Aiden for a long time and it is always an honor for me to race against him. I love that guy and it is sad it will be coming to an end soon.”
Linn-Mar Coach Tom Belin said the love and respect between the two is genuine.
“What makes it so special is that they are such good friends,” Belin said. “They love to go at it and swim against each other and for Byron and myself there isn’t anything better than to have two athletes that both want it and both enjoy one-upping each other.”
Brotherton added the 100 freestyle title as well and was on West’s winning 200 medley and freestyle relays. He was named the Valley Division Athlete of the Year.
“That was quite an honor,” Brotherton said. “It’s a great award, but none of it would be possible without my teammates. It is all about the team and winning today was the most important thing.”
West’s 200 medley — that also included Boyd Skelley, Jordan Christensen and Holden Carter — set a new meet record of 1:33.89. Carter, just a sophomore, set the other meet record, posting a time of 50.59 in winning the 100 butterfly.
“He broke the record (50.76) of a state champion (former Trojan Izaak Hajek in 2020),” Butler said. “He missed breaking the record by 1/100th of a second last year and I know it is something he really had his eye on all season.”
Christensen also had an individual win, taking the 100 breaststroke in 56.83.
Linn-Mar’s Cooper Callahan was the meet’s only other double winner. He was impressive in winning both the 200 and 500 freestyles. The Purdue commit was named the Mississippi Division Athlete of the Year.
“I’m just really grateful for all the help my coaches have given me over the year,” Callahan said. “Usually at this time of the year we’re just getting into the end of the season stuff and we don’t usually perform as well (at the MVC meet).”
“Our team actually performed really well today,” he added. “I think we are in a really good spot right now.”
Carstensen, who will swim in college at South Dakota State, won the 100 backstroke.
Mississippi Valley Conference boys’ swim meet
At UI Campus Recreation and Wellness Center
Final team scoring: 1. Iowa City West 444.5, 2. Linn-Mar 355, 3. Cedar Falls 218, 4. Dubuque Hempstead 13, 5. Iowa City High 207, 6. CR Washington 204, 7. CR Kennedy 133, 8. 10. CR Jefferson 100, 9. Dubuque Senior 94, 10. Waterloo 75
200-yard medley relay: 1. Iowa City West (Boyd Skelley, Jordan Christensen, Holden Carter, Kirk Brotherton) 1:33.89 (new meet record), 2. Linn-Mar (Ian Steffen, Aiden Carstensen, Cooper Callahan, Ryan Horsey) 1:35.02, 3. Dubuque Hempstead (John Maloney, Mitchell Konicheck, Aiden Yaklich, Brandon Decker) 1:43.01
200 freestyle: 1. George Holesinger (DH) 1:44.75, 2. Max Gerke (ICW) 1:44.79, 3. Luke Kelley (LM) 1:46.90.
200 individual medley: 1. Cooper Callahan (LM) 1:58.82, 2. Joe Polyak (ICH) 1:54.95, 3. Jordan Christensen (ICW) 1:57.79.
50 freestyle: 1. Kirk Brotherton (ICW) 20.93, 2. Aiden Carstensen (LM) 21.33, 3. Grady Wheeler (CRW) 22.32.
100 butterfly: 1. Holden Carter (ICW) 50.59 (new meet record), 2. Andy Luo (ICW) 54.75, 3. Aiden Yaklich (DH) 55.51.
100 freestyle: 1. Kirk Brotherton (ICW) 46.35, 2. Ian Steffen (LM) 46.75, 3. George Holesinger (DH) 47.02.
500 freestyle: 1. Cooper Callahan (LM) 4:41.15, 2. Joe Polyak (ICH) 4:46.00, 3. Mason Turner (CRK) 4:46.28.
200 freestyle relay: 1. Iowa City West (Kirk Brotherton, Jordan Christensen, Max Gerke, Boyd Skelley) 1:26.20, 2. Dubuque Hempstead (George Holesinger, Mitchell Konichek, Michael Rhett Gilbertson, Brandon Decker) 3. CR Washington (Grady Wheeler, Jack Dake, Ryan McCaffrey, Ian Lucas) 1:31.33 .
100 backstroke: 1. Aiden Carstensen (LM) 50.85, 2. Ian Steffen (LM) 51.79, 3. Holden Carter (ICW) 53.39
100 breaststroke: 1. Jordan Christensen (ICW) 56.83, 2. Kento Yahashiri (ICH) 1:01.10, 3. Zack Heiar (DS) 1:03.69
400 freestyle relay: 1. Linn-Mar (Ian Steffen, Connor Schaffel, Cooper Callahan, Aiden Carstensen) 3:12.72, 2. Iowa City West (Max Gerke, Holden Carter, Nik Sung, Damon Conzemius) 3:15.00, 3. Dubuque Hempstead (Michael Rhett Gilbertson, Aiden Yaklich, Brandon Decker, George Holesinger) 3:21.45.
Mississippi Division Athlete of the Year: Cooper Callahan, Linn-Mar
Mississippi Division Coach of the Year: Tom Belin, Linn-Mar
Valley Division Athlete of the Year: Kirk Brotherton, Iowa City West
Valley Division Coach of the Year Rick Loeffelholz, Dubuque Hempstead