A look at three area teams and eight area individuals to watch for the 2019 Iowa high school girls' swimming and diving season.
Iowa City High — A pair of seniors should lead the way for the Little Hawks. Carly Weigel and Olivia Masterson, a Wisconsin commit, each placed in the top eight at state in a pair of individual events also were part of two top-eight relay finishers. Another senior, Trinity Sadecky, along with sophomore Rika Yahashiri, were part of the state-placing relays with Weigel and Masterson. If veteran coach Zane Hugo can build some depth, City High could improve on last season’s seventh-place state team finish. “I hope to keep the trend of strong improvements across the board,” Hugo said. “It’s not a coincidence that a lot of hard working girls have built up this momentum and I want to keep that momentum moving for them.”
Iowa City West — Coach Byron Butler’s team could be in line for a podium finish at this year’s state meet. The Women of Troy finished sixth in the team race with 143 points in 2018. Ten state qualifiers, headed up by junior Aurora Roghair and sophomore Scarlett Martin, return for West. “We didn’t lose any (state) point scorers from last year,” Butler said, adding the addition of a talented freshman class, headed up by Jade Roghair and Makala Hajek, will provide even more depth. “We’ve gained a ton of talent in the freshman class,” he said. “Many of them have great versatility and sprinting ability.”
Linn-Mar — In his second season leading the Lions, Coach Bobby Kelley returns five state qualifiers, led by senior diver Megan Norris, who placed seventh at state. Fellow senior divers Jenna Carney and Blair Pladsen also qualified for state. “We have great depth and quality (in our diving program),” Kelley said. In the pool, senior Shannon Kelley (the coach’s daughter) and sophomore Lilly Weber both placed in the 500 freestyle at state. Junior Ella Wagner, senior Mallory Ahrens and sophomore Lily Haars also swam at state last year. Incoming freshman Hayley Kimmel is a nationally ranked age group swimmer and should make an immediate impact as should freshmen Emily Brennom and Sylene Brizard.
Emma Bachelder, sr. Decorah — Finished ninth in 100 breast (1:07.03) at state
Lily Ernst, sr., Iowa City West — Finished ninth in 200 IM (2:09.38) at state
Scarlet Martin, soph., Iowa City West — Finished second in the 200 fly (54.21) and third in 200 IM (2:03.16) at state
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Olivia Masterson, sr., Iowa City High — Finished third in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.26) and fourth in 200 IM (2:03.33) at state
Taylor Matta, sr., Cedar Rapids Kennedy — Finished ninth in 500 free (5:11.50) at state
Megan Norris, sr, Linn-Mar — Finished seventh in diving (431.80) at state
Aurora Roghair, jr. Iowa City West — Finished second in the 500 free (4:53.20) and third in 200 free (1:50.13) at state
Carly Weigel, sr, Iowa City High — Finished fifth in the 100 free (52.56) and eighth in the 100 back (58.04) at state