MARION — Byron Butler believes swimming is a process.
The Iowa City West boys’ swimming coach watched his team follow the process almost to perfection here Saturday.
West won six of 11 events and secured at least a top-three finish in all but one event en route to a dominant win at the district swim meet at the Linn-Mar Aquatic Center.
The Trojans finished with 443 points, easily outdistancing Cedar Rapids Washington (385) and Linn-Mar (339). All event winners and the next 18 best times in each event from the six districts around the state qualify for the state meet next Saturday at the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center pool on the University of Iowa campus.
“We talk about racing,” Butler said. “We don’t talk about times. We talk about getting your hand to the wall because everybody is going to swim fast. If you beat them, that means you went fast.”
And none were faster that West juniors Izaak Hajek and James Pinter. Hajek, who was named the district swimmer of the year, took top individual honors in the 200-yard individual medley and 100 butterfly and was on West’s winning 200 medley relay. Pinter was also a double winner, taking the 100 and 200 freestyles. He ended with four firsts as he was on the winning 200 free relay and joined Hajek on the winning 200 medley quartet.
“They were both in control today, very mature swims,” Butler said of his junior standouts. “James had his lifetime best in the 200 free and he hasn’t rested yet. Izaak lit it up. Great 200 IM, lifetime best by over two seconds. “I’m just overjoyed with how they swam.
“I was pleased with the way everybody swam,” he added. “It’s a tribute to entire coaching staff and the parents. They are totally supportive of what we’re trying to do.”
Butler and his staff were named the district coaching staff of the year following the meet.
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Hajek, who was also the athlete of the year at the Mississippi Valley Conference meet, said being honored again Saturday meant even more to him.
“This means a lot more because this is a bigger meet,” he said. “On paper, we were supposed to dominate today but we all knew going in that Washington and Linn-Mar were going to have some great swims. We knew we had to be at our best to win today.”
Pinter is in his first year swimming with West after moving to Iowa City from Wisconsin. He couldn’t hide his excitement with the way the Trojans performed.
“We came into this meet with so much energy,” Pinter said. “We wanted to come in here and swim as fast as we could and you could just see all the energy coming out after our races. We were excited. All the guys just swam great.”
Runner-up Cedar Rapids Washington got a win from senior Jeremy Throndson in the 500 freestyle. Linn-Mar’s Nick Cavanah captured the 100 backstroke and the Lions also won the 400 freestyle relay with Cavanah swimming a strong anchor leg to overtake Washington.
Other individual winners included Keokuk’s Dylan Jones in the 100 breaststroke and Burlington’s Blake Wyrick in the 50 freestyle.
IHSAA BOYS DISTRICT SWIM MEET
At Linn-Mar Aquatic Center
TEAM SCORING: 1. Iowa City West 443, 2. Cedar Rapids Washington 385, 3. Linn-Mar 339, 4. Decorah 200, 5. Burlington 193, 6. C.R. Kennedy 156, 7. C.R. Jefferson 129, 8. Keokuk 59.
200-yard medley relay: 1. Iowa City West (James Pinter, Val Trussov, Izaak Hajek, Michael Kimball) 1:37.74, 2. Cedar Rapids Washington (Ethan Ford, Max Novetzke, Zach Koelker, Grady Wheeler) 1:38.32, 3. Burlington (Kale Schuff, Jacob Mohrfeld, Blake Wyrick, Wyatt Hellman) 1:40.38.
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200 freestyle: 1. James Pinter (ICW) 1:41.77, 2. Jeremy Throndson (CRW) 1:42.16, 3. Nick Cavanah (LM) 1:43.72.
200 individual medley: 1. Izaak Hajek (ICW) 1:56.40, 2. Dylan Jones (K) 1:58.20, 3. Aiden Carstensen (LM) 1:58.57.
50 freestyle: 1. Blake Wyrick (B) 21.75, 2. James Breitbart (CRW) 21.86, 3. Michael Kimball (ICW) 22.05.
100 butterfly: 1. Izaak Hajek (ICW) 50.57, 2. Gus Grimstad (D) 52.87, 3. Val Trussov (ICW) 58.91.
100 freestyle: 1. James Pinter (ICW) 46.54, 2. Blake Wyrick (B) 48.50, 3. Kirk Brotherton (ICW) 48.78.
500 freestyle: 1. Jeremy Throndson (CRW) 4:40.43, 2. Cooper Callahan (LM) 4:45.74, 3. Zach Kolker (CRW) 4:49.69.
200 freestyle relay: 1. Iowa City West (Kirk Brotherton, Michael Kimball, Val Trussov, James Pinter) 1:27.04, 2. Linn-Mar (Daniel Medin, Alex Cochrane, Cooper Callahan, Nick Cavanah) 1:28.03, 3. Cedar Rapids Washington (James Breitbart, Ethan Ford, Grady Wheeler, Jeremy Throndson) 1:28.31.
100 backstroke: 1. Nick Cavanah (LM) 51.39, 2. Gus Grimstad (D) 53.76, 3. Ethan Ford (CRW) 54.74.
100 breaststroke: 1. Dylan Jones (K) 58.35, 2. Jacob Mohrfeld (B) 59.66, 3. Tate Happel (ICW) 1:02.06.
400 freestyle relay: 1. Linn-Mar (Cooper Callahan, Aiden Carstensen, Alex Cochrane, Nick Cavanah) 3:13.12, 2. Cedar Rapids Washington (James Breitbart, Zach Kolker, Jeremy Throndson, Devon Pierre) 3:14.19, 3. Iowa City West (Kirk Brotherton,, Nikolas Sung, Izaak Hajek, Tate Happel) 3:18.24.