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The 2016 IHSAA State Swimming Championships dive in on Saturday, February 13th at Marshalltown YMCA in Marshalltown, Iowa. Timed finals for the meet will begin just after noon.
Iowa City West High will be looking to defend their state title with two of their top-scoring champions returning. Aiden Keen (senior) will look to defend his titles in the 200 Free (1:40.32) and 500 Free (4:33.69) where he is currently seeded second. Cameron Kelley, a junior from Cedar Rapids Washington, sits ahead of him in both events.
Iowa City West also has Mark McGlaughlin returning in the 100 Free in which he was the state champion with a time of 44.76. Instead of the 50 Free this year (McGlaughlin was last year’s champion in the event) the senior will battle for the title in the 200 IM with Cedar Rapid Washington’s Nick Saulnier. Saulnier is seeded first with a 1:52.19 while McGlaughlin is strikingly close with a 1:52.45.
Both McGlaughlin and Keen were part of Iowa City West’s record-setting 400 Free Relay last year with junior Oliver Martin and fellow senior Will Scott, all of whom are returning this year. Iowa City West is seeded lower than they were last year with a 3:13.13 at fifth so they will have to bypass the likes of Johnston, Waukee, Bettendorf, and Dubuque Senior to reclaim their title.
Johnston could take second in the meet with Stjepan Fiolic, Grant Fuhr, and Alex Overton seeded in the top seven for each of their events. Fiolic sits at third in both the 200 and 100 Free, while Fuhr is third in the 50 Free and fourth in the 100 Free. Overton will look to move up in the 100 Free rankings from his seventh place position.
Bettendorf has some strong swimmers in the mix with Zach Bunn (junior) and Nathan Spencer (senior) seeded fifth and sixth respectively in the 200 Free. Bunn is on course to improve upon his eleventh place finish in the 500 Free (4:51.67) with a fourth place seed and a 4:46.05 going into Saturday. Caleb Aman will look to challenge Saulnier and McGlaughlin in the 200 IM with a third place seed of 1:55.51.
The 100 Back should be a tight race with the top six qualifiers seeded within 1.87 seconds of one another. Isaak Webb of Newton will lead the pack with a first-place seed of 57.80.