116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MARION — It won’t be uncharted waters for Maria Trotta.
A junior from Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Trotta has qualified for multiple events in the state swim meet before.
During Saturday’s regional swim meet at the Linn-Mar Aquatic Center, Trotta turned it up a notch.
Trotta set a season-best in the 50-yard freestyle (24.18) and a personal-best in the 100-yard freestyle (53.58), qualifying for state in both events for the second straight year.
“She’s a workhorse in practice,” said Kennedy Coach Chad Derlein. “I expected nothing less.”
“I think that our team environment right now is really positive and it’s helping everyone swim well,” Trotta said. “I’m really excited. I’m hoping I’ll do better at state, too.”
Kennedy’s 200-yard freestyle relay team of Trotta, Lilly Anctil, Lilly Adams and Ellie Hance also finished first Saturday, qualifying for state with a season-best time of 1:38.54.
Trotta finished ninth in the 50-yard freestyle at state last year and 14th in the 100-yard freestyle. She was also a member of the Cougars’ 200-and 400-yard freestyle relay teams that finished seventh and ninth, respectively.
“She’s a quiet leader,” Derlein said. “She’s very quiet but she’s coming out of her shell every day. She’s definitely a leader on our team.”
Trotta’s closest competition in Saturday’s 50-yard freestyle race was Anctil, a freshman, who finished with a time of 24.90.
“I think for me in that race, my teammate Lilly Anctil was my closest competition,” Trotta said. “She broke 25 (seconds) too, so I’m really happy for her.”
Trotta’s personal best in the 100-yard freestyle was good for second, finishing just behind Linn-Mar’s Hayley Kimmel, a University of Iowa commit, who set a pool record with a time of 51.24. Kimmel also took home first in the 100-yard backstroke and was part of the Lions’ first-place 400-yard freestyle relay team.
“The competition was really good today,” Trotta said.
Another bright spot for the Cougars was sophomore Adams who finished second and qualified for state in the 200-yard individual medley with a personal-best time of 2:11:00.
“I just feel really good today,” Adams said. “It’s definitely not as hot here as it is in our pool, but it’s bigger than a lot of the other ones.”
Adams also qualified for state in last year’s 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard individual medley and was a member of Kennedy’s state-qualifying 200-yard and 400-yard freestyle relay teams.
“She’s been trying to find herself after her eighth and ninth grade year moving from Cedar Falls to here,” Derlein said. “A club team champion, just trying to find her niche. And this year she’s kind of found it. So, she’s getting back to where she was as an eighth grader and she can’t be any happier.”
As a team, the Cougars finished third Saturday behind No. 4-ranked Ames and No. 9 Linn-Mar.
Saturday’s field also included Cedar Rapids Washington, Keokuk, Tipton, Vinton-Shellsburg and Williamsburg.
“I think if we all continue to be positive and build each other up, we can go out and get our best times and help each other win,” Trotta said.
“Drive, that’s the whole point of this sport,” Derlein said. “This is the meet that really counts and then next weekend’s fun and we just have to swim fast. They’re ready, that’s what we’ve trained for the last 13 weeks. That’s just kind of what it is, it brings it (the intensity) out.”
The state meet with be held Nov. 11-12 at the Marshalltown YMCA.
Saturday’s final team standings
1. Ames 499
2. Linn-Mar 437
3. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 404
4. Cedar Rapids Washington 245
5. Williamsburg 157
6. Vinton-Shellsburg 130
7. Tipton 99
8. Keokuk 88