The 2018-19 season has been one of sure dominance for the second ranked Waukee High School boys’ swimming team and Saturday, Feb. 9, they capped things off with a second place finish at the state swimming meet in Iowa City.
The Warriors somehow followed up a state qualifying performance, complete with a 100 percent time drop, with a second place overall finish at state.
It was an overall performance worthy of a state meet as the Warriors placed second with a total of 210 team points. In total, there were just a few meets this season where the Warriors didn’t sweep the team relay events and that dominance showed as all three Warrior relay events placed fifth or better in Iowa City.
The 200 Medley Relay group of Eli Waltman, Cameron Linder, Andrew Reiter, and Davis Kuhlers started the day off for the Warriors and gave Waukee a strong taste of the success to come. The foursome clocked in a time of 1:35.54, which set a season best mark by nearly two full seconds. That time also marked the fourth best time out of 24 groups.
Coming into the day, the 200 Yard Freestyle event’s best time clocked in at 1:26.73. Saturday afternoon, Waukee clocked in a time nearly two full seconds faster, marking the third straight week where the Warriors have earned a season best in the event. The group of Mitchell Pollitt, Cambell Patterson, Augie Muenzenmay, and Davis Kuhlers picked up a fourth place finish and 30 team points with their time of 1:24.55. For their efforts, the group was honored with All-American status.
The pair of strong relay finishes continued to highlight a strong aspect of the relay groups that head coach Dan Briggs spoke about as strong points earlier in the season.
“Our relay groups are really well put together with athletes who know how to succeed at the highest of levels,” said Briggs. “They know how to pace each other, utilize each other’s speed and a whole lot more.”
Waukee’s relay success extended to the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay event, where the foursome of Mitchell Pollitt, Augie Muenzenmay, Cameron Linder, and Andrew Reiter notched a third place finish. The group clocked in a time of 3:07.73, good enough for third place and 32 team points.
After claiming the states top time before the midway point of the season, Cameron Linder posted a highlight of a performance in the 200 Yard Individual Medley with a new school record time.
Linder came into the state meet holding the state’s top time in the 200 Yard IM and he exited the same way, this time with a mark of 1:53.31 and 20 team points to the cause. That time marked the fastest time of the season and one of the fastest times of Linder’s career in that event. It also earned the junior All-American Consideration honors.
Alongside the performance of Linder came freshman phenom Andrew Reiter, who broke his own 200 Yard IM best time by clocking in with 1:55.85 at state. Reiter had the fastest opening leg of anybody in the 24-swimmer field.
It wouldn’t be a true Waukee performance without multiple swimmers placing top five in multiple events, including Linder, whose second top five individual performance came in the 500 Yard Freestyle event. Linder’s time placed him third overall and gave the team 16 team points.
Senior Mitchell Pollitt was another multiple event place winner for Waukee, placing fourth in both the 50 and 100 Yard Freestyle events. Pollitt earned All-American Consideration after clocking in a 50 Yard Freestyle time of 21 seconds flat and a 100 Yard Freestyle time of 46.18 seconds, both of which were season best times.
The strong finishes highlighted what has been a special season for Pollitt as he described earlier in the season.
“I’m savoring every moment I can from this season being my last here at Waukee,” began Pollitt. “We’ve had so much success over the years but this team may perhaps be the most talented since I’ve been here. We’re certainly one of the most fun teams to be around and that’s really what it’s all about. We have fun each and every meet and it always feels like that instead of hard work.”
As a team, Waukee started the meet in fifth place after the first two events, but stormed their way to first after Pollitt struck for his first top five finish in event five. The Warriors held on to the top spot for four more events until Ankeny, the eventual champs, stole their way into first thanks to a pair of top ten finishes in the 100 yard backstroke event.
Overall, it was another fantastic season for the Warrior boys’ swim team, who captured their sixth straight top ten finish and third straight top five finish at the state meet.