It was the day of all days, the big dance in the Iowa High School boys swimming world and the Waukee boys swimming team was right in the middle of it at the 2019-20 state swimming meet.
Among a very tough field, the Warriors used the great combination of six school records and a state champion to capture a third-place finish with 231 team points. The only two schools to best the Warriors included the reigning champions Ankeny who placed second and season favorite Iowa City West who captured the crown with 262.5 points.
All eleven events had at least one Waukee representative and that included the 100 Yard Butterfly event where sophomore standout Drew Reiter highlighted the day with a state title. Reiter’s time of 48.93 seconds bested the entire 24 swimmer field and earned All-American consideration. It’s an amazing feat to acquire but at the same time, it’s something that head coach Dan Briggs foreshadowed back before the start of the season.
“Drew is the real deal for sure,” began Brigs. “He has not just put work in, but he’s done it right. His work will take him far this season.”
Reiters’ impact was felt across three other events as well. That included the 200 Individual Medley where he not only captured second place out of 24 swimmers, not only broke the Waukee school record but his time of 1:51.63 officially gave the sophomore All-American status, besting the prior mark of 1:49.57. Everything that Reiter took part of drew at least All-American consideration and that included the two relay events like the 200 Yard Medley Relay. Joining up with Asher Havenhill, Cameron Linder, and Eli Waltman, the foursome captured All-State/All-American consideration, a school record, and a third-place finish overall, behind only Iowa City West and Iowa City High. Reiter also joined up with the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay that tied for third place and earned more consideration for All-State/All-American status. Reiter teamed up once again with Havenhill and Linder and teamed up with AJ Abram to clock a time of 3:06.30.
Abram’s impact was also felt in a big way outside the relay events, highlighted by his third-place performance in the 200 Freestyle. His time of 1:40.17 eclipsed the All-State/All-American mark and also helped him pick up a new school record in that event. Abram also took place in the 100-yard Freestyle and with his time of 46:27 seconds, his fourth-place finish also equaled All-State status. Abram also swam among Eli Waltman, Andrew Peelen, and Cooper Rogers to place eighth as a team in the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay (1:28.48).
Senior star Cameron Linder also had a strong day highlighted by his 500 Yard Freestyle performance. That had Linder placing second out of 24 total swimmers with a time of 4:30.87. That fell just two seconds off of an automatic All-American finish but it did five the senior consideration. That time also marked a season-best and a school-record. Linder was also right behind Drew Reiter in the 200 Individual Medley, also breaking the school record with his time of 1:50.47.
Other big finishes for Waukee included Eli Waltman’s 11th place finish in the 50 Freestyle (21:61) and the 100 Freestyle (47.68 seconds). James Coffey cemented his initial varsity season with an 11th place finish in the 500 Yard Freestyle while Sam Davey placed 11th behind Havenhill in the 100 Yard Backstroke (53.22 seconds). Jackson Whitaker paced the way for the Warriors in the 100 Breaststroke event with an 11th place finish (1:00.41) followed by Levi Manning.
Overall, the Warriors represented the CIML Conference well and part of a strong presence that had five CIML teams in the top-ten. They were one of two teams from the CIML to crack the top-five.