Little Hawks Qualify for State, Break Records


Julianne Berry-Stoelzle

John Weigel ’23 swims the 100 butterfly at Linn-Mar, finishing with a season best time of 1:02.03.

Carly Weigel, Reporter

Right before the 50 freestyle, Bigad Gaber ‘21 rushes in one heat before he’s set to swim, arriving to the sound of his teammates screaming and cheering his name and his coach, Zane Hugo, expressing disbelief that he’d made it on time— barely. He had just taken the ACT earlier that day and had to drive from his testing location in Iowa City to the pool at Linn-Mar High School to make his first event. He jumped in and raced without having warmed up first, with a final time of 25.77.

“Bigad’s crazy,” relief manager Rika Yahashiri ‘21 said. “He just made it, he came running in without a [compression] suit and did that [race] cold-turkey.”

Gaber’s determination to make his events is not as surprising a sight as one might think. Districts is the meet that gets swimmers into the state meet. If a swimmer qualifies with a top-24 time, or gets first place in an event at their region location, they may advance to the last meet of the high school season. Forrest Frazier ‘20 managed to get both, winning first place in the 200 IM with a time of 1:49.15 and the 100 breaststroke with a time of 54.18.

“Forrest is good because no matter what event you put him in he always goes hard,” Hugo said. “He always does his best.”

Other swimmers who qualified for the 2020 boys state swim meet include Isaac Weigel ‘21 in the 500 freestyle (1:38.42) and the 200 freestyle (1:43.73) and Caleb Coons ‘22 in the 100 butterfly (52.57) and the 100 backstroke (52.78). Bryce Edens ‘22, Mark Krysan ‘20, Joe Keuter ‘20, Kento Yahashiri ’23, Chase Loftus ‘22, and Will Larson ‘22 will join them to make up this year’s state team. City finished third overall at districts with 278.5 points.

“State is going to be really exciting this year because the team is so good,” Rika Yahashiri said. “Forrest is a senior so whatever races he’s doing are going to be fun to watch, and Isaac just got the [100 free] record so he could also swim that.”

City High also saw more records broken this weekend, with the 200 freestyle relay of Frazier, Weigel, Coons, and Larson getting second in the state with a best time of 1:34.75, and Weigel breaking the 100 freestyle school record with a new time of 46.86, beating the old time set in 1993. City’s 200 freestyle relay is fourth in the state, with a time of 1:27.26. This Saturday, February 15, the state meet will be held at the CRWC in downtown Iowa City at 12 pm.

“This is going to be a big meet,” Weigel said. “We’re ready and we’re going all out.”