Spearheaded by a balanced attack, the Waukee girls swimming team captured a fifth-place performance at the state swimming and diving meet which wrapped up Saturday, Nov. 9.
Within the confines of the Marshalltown YMCA, the Warriors collected 120 total points good enough for fifth place behind Iowa City West in fourth, Ankeny in third, Ames in second, all with Dowling Catholic capturing the state meet crown (320 points). The Warriors qualified for all but two events inside the finals and leading the way for the Warriors was the tried and true freshman Jessi Wigham. The first-year varsity star has been on fire ever since the first meet of the season and capped off her 2019 campaign with a second-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle event. The freshman qualified for state in the 100 with a time of 1:54.44 and then proceeded to top that beginning with a state met preliminary time of 1:52.07. From an already significant time jump, Wigham then proceeded to break into the Waukee record books with a school-record time of 1:50.18. That ultimately placed Wigham second out of the 16 swimmer finals field. Wigham also advanced into the lengthy 500-yard freestyle event where she set a new personal record with a time of 4:54.76, good enough for third place out of 16 finals swimmers.
Wigham also joined the fray with senior Anna Hamling, freshman Evan Schqickerath, and junior Sophia Hueser in the 200-yard free relay. The foursome placed fifth among the field of 31 teams and did so with a time of 1:36.79. In total, all three relay events for Waukee captured top-ten finishes for the day. Wigham and Hamling joined up with Maddi Kemp and Mallory Kell in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The foursome placed fourth out of 32 state qualifying teams with a time of 3:32.94 and set a season-best time. The 200 Medley Relay team of Eve Wiltse, Camden Habgood, Mallory Kell, and Sophia Hueser clocked in a seventh-place time of 1:48.79 within the 32 state team field.
Along with her impactful performances in the relay events, Anna Hamling also showcased some solid times in individual events. In the 200 yard individual medley, the senior captured seventh place with a time of 2:06.39, just a second off of her season-best mark. It took until the state qualifying meet to earn her ticket to the 100 butterfly state meet field and she certainly made the most of it Saturday. Among a 16 swimmer field, the senior swam away with a sixth-place with a time of 57.72 seconds. That came after preliminary time of 57.35 seconds, a season-best mark. Also among the field was freshman Mallory Kell who fell just short of her personal best with a time of 59.25 seconds.
Other strong finishes included Evan Schwickera who posted a preliminary time of 1:56.71 and then followed that up with a finals time of 1:57.27 in the 200-yard freestyle event. That earned the freshman a 12th place finish and marked less than nine-tenths of a second off of her season-best time. Schwickera was also a 100-yard freestyle participant, making it to the finals with a time of 54.39 seconds and a finals time of 54.73 for the 15th best time in the entire state. Eve Wiltse narrowly missed the finals and her season-best mark in the 100 backstroke finals where she finished 17th overall with a time of 59.38 seconds. Others involved in that event included junior Sophia Hueser with a time of 1:00.94 and Alexa Wurth with a time of 1:01.31.
It was indeed a strong season for the Warriors who managed to fill all relay events and star in all but a few of the finals events for the second straight year in a row at the state meet.