Swimming: Club State Includes City High Students


Carly Weigel

Isaac Weigel ’21 swims the 500 freestyle at the Club State Swim Meet

Carly Weigel, Reporter

High school swim season may be over, but club season is still going strong. City High students participated in the state swim meet this past weekend, seven sessions of racing that resulted in some personal bests and new goals for the rest of the season and going forward.

“I’m focusing on staying positive and not getting in my head so much, and just racing,” Heidi Stalkfleet ‘22 said. “I have a really bad habit of thinking too much before I swim. I have to think positively all the time.”

Stalkfleet said swimming can get repetitive, so she likes to keep her mind occupied during long distance swims.

“I usually sing songs,” Stalkfleet said. “My favorite song to sing during a distance race is ‘Sweet Caroline.’ I sing it over and over and just think, ‘almost done, almost there.’”

Olivia Masterson ‘20 agreed with her, saying that counting or focusing on a specific aspect of the race is a good way to keep her mind active.

“At this meet, I’m focusing on my starts and turns, especially in breaststroke,” Masterson said. “I’m trying to get a feel for the events.”

The meet was in the Wellmark YMCA in downtown Des Moines. Swimmers from the IFLY swim club go to both City and West High Schools, and last weekend they worked together to get the overall team standing of third place. Masterson swam in both prelims and finals, gaining points for her team.

“If it’s a good race, then I’m happy and I feel excited because my hard work has paid off,” Masterson said. “If it’s bad, it’s a little emotional.”

Caleb Coons ‘22 swam in a meet the weekend before as well as the boy’s high school state swim meet. He agreed with Masterson’s assessment of racing.

“Depending on how I do, usually it’s pretty happy most of the time. If I don’t get the time I want, it can be disappointing,” Coons said. “This meet was a lot about backstroke for me, so I’m just trying to improve my times from last weekend.”

Stalkfleet was optimistic about her races.

“My expectations were exceeded, for sure,” she said. “Only tapering two days for this meet, I’m really surprised at how I’m doing, and it makes me excited for Florida.”

Both Masterson and Stalkfleet are competing four weeks from now, March 19 through March 23, in the NCSA Juniors meet in Orlando, Florida.