Waukee girls swimming falls in close contest to Dowling

Andrew Brown
Dallas County News
Waukee's Jessica Wigham in the 200 yard freestyle event Sept. 8 in Johnston.

The Waukee girls swimming and diving team was back in action Tuesday, Sept. 15 as they hosted a meet with Dowling Catholic. 

Inside the Waukee YMCA, the Warriors were in a close contest but ended up falling by a 96-90 final. It was just their second loss of the 2020 season for the Warriors but they put up quite the fight in the process. 

Waukee still managed to walk away from the meet with five first-place finishes for the contest. In total, Waukee had 13 top-two finishes. Highlighting the way individually to kick off the meet was Mali McGregor. Out of the six diver field, McGregor totaled a score of 241.20. She was closely followed by Kerilynn Schmidt, who placed second with a total score of 205.75. 

In the swimming field, sophomore Jessica Wigham paced the way yet again in the 200 yard freestyle event. Her time of 1:52.47 broke her own record for the season that earned her a state qualifying bid earlier in the season (1:53.02). That was just part of another big night for Wigham who also captured the 500 yard freestyle event crown with a time of 4:49.45. Once again she broke her own season-best time in the event, besting her prior time of 5:01.14. 

Also highlighting the night was fellow sophomore Mallory Kell. Blazing through the six swimmer 100 yard butterfly event field, Kell claimed the top spot with a time of 58.28 seconds. Just like Wigham, that time earned Kell a new season-best, toppling her original state qualifying time of 59.51 seconds. Kell also put forth a strong performance in the 200 individual medley where her time of 2:10.24 put her in second despite having the faster initial leg to the race. 

Other big finishes for the Warriors included Taylor Judas in the 500 freestyle. Judas swam right behind Wigham in second place with a time of 5:14.42 which continued the streak of season-bests, toppling her prior state-qualifying time of 5:15.67. Payden Rafferty also had a meet worth remembering, capturing second place in both the 50 yard freestyle and the 100 yard backstroke with times of 25.51 seconds and 1:00.75 respectively. 

The relay events also had quite the showing, including one first place finish and a pair of second place finishes. The first-place finish for the Warriors came in the 400 yard free relay event. The foursome of Nora Kemp, Judas, Kell and Wigham bested the field with their time of 3:36.2. The two second-place finishes for the Warriors came in the 200 medley relay and the 200 freestyle relay. The 200 freestyle relay for Waukee consisted of Rafferty, Kemp, Sophia Hueser and Wigham. The foursome placed second with a time of 1:45.65 while the 200 medley relay of Rafferty, Camden Habgood, Kell and Hueser clocked in a time of 1:51.43. 

The Warrior girls swimming and diving team heads back to Summit Middle School on Tuesday, Sept. 22 to face Johnston.