In their final home dual of the season, the Waukee girls swimming and diving team captured victory over visiting Marshalltown by a 145-41 final.
It was senior night and what better way than to send off the Warrior seniors than by securing an undefeated in home duals. On an emotional night, the Warriors rocketed through the pool capturing 31 top three finishes which included nine events where they swept the top three finishes.
“Senior night is always an emotional time and our girls came out very strong tonight,” said head coach Shelley Twigg. “These seniors have been through so much and they’ve been so helpful to this team, it’s always sad to see their season wind down.”
It certainly was a final home stand to remember for the Warriors who captured eleven first place finishes on the night to secure their fifth dual meet win of the season.. Six of those first place finishes came from six separate swimmers while there were two Warriors who posted multiple first place finishes. As always, the senior leadership helped pave the way including Anna Hamling who not only anchored the winning 400 yard free relay team, but placed second individually in the 50 yard freestyle. Hamling, a multi-year starter for the Warriors, joined Maia Bumgardner, Mallory Kell, and Sophia Hueser in swimming away with first place thanks to a time of 3:54.24. In her 50 yard freestyle race, Hamling placed sixth-tenths of a second behind Maddi Kemp for second place with a time of 27.76 seconds. Hamling once again showed how impactful she can be, a theme that has been consistent with the senior ever since her first time in the pool.
“From the very first day she was a part of this team, I knew we had a very special swimmer,” said Twigg. “The way she presents herself outside of the water is amazing but what she’s able to do inside the water is nothing short of amazing also. She has been the type of positive leader every coach dreams of having. I’ve been blessed to coach her and it’s been amazing watching her throughout the years.”
The atmosphere around Waukee swimming has always been one of pure energy and positivity and that was shown across the rest of the Warrior lineup as well. That included Sophia Hueser who was one of two individual Warriors to capture two first place finishes. The first top finish came on the 200 yard individual medley where she toppled the field thanks to a time of 2:21.32. The junior also dominated the 100 yard backstroke field with a season-best time of 1:03.47. She was followed by Camden Habgood who captured her second second place finish (1:07.46) and Emily Hamling who clocked in a third place time of 1:14.68.
The freshman phenom known as Mallory Kell had quite the night with a pair of top finishes herself. Kell started out in a relatively new event for her, placing first in the 200 yard freestyle race with a time of 2:02.17. She was followed by four straight Warriors including Maia Bumgardner in second (2:03.71), Eve Wiltse in third (2:07.95), Alexa Wurth in fourth (2:08.37), and Abby Trosper in fifth (2:11.51). Kell’s second top finish came in the 100 yard breaststroke event. Kell missed out on her season-best time by two seconds as she clocked in at 1:14.10. She was followed by Maddi Kemp in second (1:15.85), and Izzy Stevens in third (1:18.62).
Along with the 400 yard freestyle relay, Waukee also captured first place relay finishes in the 200 yard medley and the 200 yard freestyle relay. The foursome of Jessi Wigham, Evan Schwickerath, Marina Mihura, and Izzy Stevens clocked in a time of 2:00.42 in the 200 yard medley while Alexa Wurth, Eve Wiltse, Wigham, and Trosper took first in the 200 yard freestyle with a collective time of 1:47.07.
Other big finishes included Jessi Wigham in the 100 yard butterfly (first place - 1:01.83) and Carly Olney in the 500 yard freestyle (first place - 5:33.58 - a season best time).
Next up for the Warrior girls will be a trip to Johnston over the weekend to take part in the annual eight-team invitational at Summit Middle School. The action will begin at 8:30 a.m.