Alexa Fredericks '19 swimming the 100 backstroke.

Julianne Berry-Stoelzle

Diving Right In

September 25, 2018

In her very first meet of the 2018 swim season, Olivia Masterson ‘20 broke the oldest swim record at City. She swam the 200 Individual Medley in 1:53.52, breaking the previous record of 2:13.89 set by Erica Wockenfuss in 1980.

“Everyone was like, “What the heck?’” Masterson said. “Even I was not expecting to break it the first meet. That is something I will always remember.”

Masterson is a junior, but new to City High as she moved to Iowa from Virginia last summer. Already, she is becoming a leader on the City High swim team. Just last week, she won Athlete of the Week from the Des Moines Register, which considers athletes from all around Iowa, with an overwhelming majority vote of 89 percent.

She explained that the girls on the swim team are very supportive and made her feel welcome right away. The swim season is earlier on in the year than in Virginia but she is adjusting quickly to the schedule and the way the team works.

“I really like the meets. They go really late but I like the energy they have,” Masterson said. “Everyone is cheering you on and supporting each other. It is just a nice atmosphere.”

Besides being supportive, another thing that adds to the City High swim team is its long list of traditions. These include a team bonding sleepover with Mario Kart, a shaving party before the Little Hawk Invite, and birthday swims where if the birthday girl gets a certain time the whole team gets to leave practice an hour early. There is also a tradition that lasts the whole season called secret swimmer, where each girl on the teams is assigned another girl for whom they make encouraging locker signs and reveal their identity to with a small gift at their last meet.

This year, the coaches are also doing a Question of the Day. They ask a question at the beginning of practice and let the swimmers think about and try to answer it. Kate Wilson ‘19, one of this year’s team captains, described it as being similar to trivia.

“The questions are really all over the place,” Wilson said. “One was ‘What president was also a justice on the Supreme Court?’ [Another was] ‘What album has the most records sold?’ which just got beaten by Thriller. Some girls on our team actually knew that one, for some reason.”

While fun is an important aspect to the swim team, there is also a very serious side. At the beginning of the season, the team wrote down their goals and are constantly working to achieve them.

“[Our goals include] keep going strong, keep giving our best in practice and in meets, beat West, work hard, and have more girls to break 30 seconds in the 50 free than the boys team had last winter,” said Wilson.

So far this season, the girls swim team has won three out of their five one-on-one meets, losing against Linn Mar and West, and got fifth in the Little Hawk Invite. However, for the team of 32 swimmers and 3 divers, the season is only half over.

“It is pretty early on in the season so it is hard to say what the team is going accomplish,” head coach Zane Hugo said. “Right now what they are doing very well is getting together as a group every single practice and working towards the goals that they have set for themselves. They are really chasing them everyday.”

Maggie Cremers ‘19 had her first varsity win in the 100 breaststroke. Carly Weigel  ‘20 has swam a 1:00.50 in her 100 back and Masterson is currently ranked third in the state for her 100 breast. Their coach has high hopes for both swimmers separately and together as a team.

“What I am looking for is individuals that step up and race and go for conference titles,” Hugo said. “We have not had a conference team championship since 2001 and they have not had a trophy at the state meet since 1968. It has been 50 years and I think that would be something really cool.”

There are many goals and hopes riding on this year’s swim season. Many girls have made big advancements towards their goals.

“I have seen a lot of good racing and a lot of improvements out of everybody even though we are only halfway through the season,” Hugo said. “We have a lot of meets coming up still and I am excited to see those further improvements.”

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