DUBUQUE — Byron Butler has a question for all of his incoming freshman swimmers.
“I ask all of them what their favorite event is,” said the Iowa City West coach with a laugh. “Then the upperclassmen tell them it is whatever event Byron wants you to swim.”
That mentality has helped the Trojans build a state-championship caliber program and it was on full display Saturday at the Mississippi Valley Conference boys’ swim meet at the new Dubuque Community Schools Aquatic Center.
West got wins in seven of the 11 events and got superior efforts from their lesser-known swimmers to easily defend its league crown. The Trojans scored 471 points, outdistancing Linn-Mar (346) and Iowa City High (264).
“That’s something we are so proud of as a team.” said West senior James Pinter. “We have people placing 1-2-3 in the 50-(yard freestyle) and end up with three in the top six in multiple events. It isn’t just the guys at the top.”
That said, the guys at the top for West had solid days as well. Pinter, named Valley Division Athlete of the Year, won both the 200 free and 100 back and was on two winning relays. Fellow senior Izaak Hajek set a new meet mark (50.76) in winning the 100 butterfly. The Trojans 200 medley relay team of Pinter, Jordan Christensen, Hajek and Diggory Dillingham also set a meet record (1:34.75).
“Guys really stepped up and raced well for their team today,” Butler said. “I think we have some good top-end talent and we’ve got some of those second and third guys who can qualify for state and score.
“We still have a lot of work ahead of us. This team knows what is out there and they have kept working toward that.”
West’s Dillingham won the 50 free and was on all three winning West relays.
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City High senior Forrest Frazier, a California commit, came away with two individual wins. He broke his own meet record in the 100 breaststroke (56.26) and won the 100 freestyle.
A three-time state champion in is career, Frazier, who was named the Mississippi Division Athlete of the year, said Saturday’s meet was part of the process on the way to state.
“Today was a good step,” he said. “I felt good about my races considering that we are still two weeks away from districts.”
Frazier hasn’t ever competed in the 100 freestyle at state.
“I’m not sure if that is going to happen or not,” he said. “That’s still to be decided.”
The other two individual wins went to a pair of Linn-Mar sophomores. Aiden Carstensen took top honors in the 200 individual medley (1:57.61) while Cooper Callahan won the 500 in 4:47.91.
Butler and his staff (Valley Division) and City High’s Zane Hugo and staff (Mississippi Division) were honored by their fellow coaches as the respective staffs of the year.
MVC SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Team scoring: 1. Iowa City West 471, 2. Linn-Mar 346, 3. Iowa City High 264, 4. CR Washington 222, 5. Cedar Falls 209, 6. Dubuque Hempstead 141, 7. Dubuque Senior 135, 8. Waterloo 93, 9. CR Kennedy 84, 10. CR Jefferson 65.
200-yard medley relay: 1. Iowa City West (James Pinter, Jordan Christensen, Izaak Hajek, Diggory Dillingham) 1:34.75 (new meet record), 2. Iowa City High (Caleb Coons, Forrest Frazier, Isaac Weigel, Bryce Edens) 1:37.00, 3. Linn-Mar (Nick Cavanah, Greg Gerst, Alex Cochrane, Luke Richard) 1:42.46.
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200 freestyle: 1. James Pinter (ICW) 1:43.13, 2. Cooper Callahan (LM) 1:44.83, 3. Mats McGrath (CRW) 1:48.13.
200 individual medley: 1. Aiden Carstensen (LM) 1:57.61, 2. Isaac Weigel (ICH) 1:58.48, 3. Izaak Hajek (ICW) 1:59.00.
50 free: 1. Diggory Dillingham (ICW) 21.73, 2. Michael Kimball (ICW) 22.08, 3. Kirk Brotherton (ICW) 22.25.
100 butterfly: 1. Izaak Hajek (ICW) 50.76 (new meet record), 2. Nick Cavanah (LM) 52.57, 3. Aiden Carstensen (LM) 53.37.
100 free: 1. Forrest Frazier (ICH) 47.92, 2. Alex Cochrane (LM) 48.19, 3. George Holesinger (DH) 49.40.
500 free: 1. Cooper Callahan (LM) 4:47.91, 2. Bryce Edens (ICH) 4:57.90, 3. Andy Luo (ICW) 4:59.06
200 free relay: 1. Iowa City West (Kirk Brotherton, Michael Kimball, Luke Nichols, Diggory Dillingham) 1:27.11, 2. Iowa City High (Forrest Frazier, Caleb Coons, Bryce Edens, Isaac Weigel) 1:29.02, 3. Linn-Mar (Alex Cochrane, Cooper Callahan, Ian Steffen, Aiden Carstensen) 1:29.47.
100 backstroke: 1. James Pinter (ICW) 51.70, 2. Nick Cavanah (LM) 54.52, 3. Caleb Coons (ICH) 55.19
100 breaststroke: 1. Forrest Frazier (ICH) 56.26 (new meet record), 2. Jordan Christensen (ICW) 58.87, 3. Kento Yahashiri (CF) 1:04.43.
400 free relay: 1. Iowa City West (Luke Nichols, Izaak Hajek, Diggory Dillingham, James Pinter) 3:13.38, 2. Linn-Mar (Cooper Callahan, Ian Steffen, Nick Cavanah, Aiden Carstensen) 3:18.18, 3. CR Washington (Connor Cruise, Mats McGrath, Devon Pirrie, Ryan McCaffrey) 3:27.20
Athlete of the year: Forrest Frazier, Iowa City High
Coaching Staff of the Year: Zane Lugo and the Linn-Mar staff
Athlete of the Year: James Pinter, Iowa City West
Coaching Staff of the Year: Byron Butler and the Iowa City West staff