Athlete Spotlight: Heidi Stalkfleet

At the 2020 Iowa Swimming Senior Championships, Stalkfleet placed first in both the 1650 and 1000 yard freestyle with times of 16:41.53 and 9:52.12

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Jesse Hausknecht-Brown

Heidi Stalkfleet ’22 prepares for her 500 yard freestyle at the first dual meet of the 2020 City High girls swim season.

Jae Dancer, Sports Editor

Heidi Stalkfleet ‘22 has been doing IFLY club swim for years but after the recent University of Iowa swimming and cancellations, Stalkfleet has taken up City High swim for the fall 2020 season. 

“Heidi’s got a great work ethic and I think she’s really honest with herself about that. She knows when she’s working hard and when she’s not, and she expects herself to work hard and that’s one of the main drivers of her success,” Zane Hugo, coach of the City High swim team, said.

On September 1, the swim team competed at their first meet V.S. Linn-Mar held at Linn-Mar. Stockfleet broke two of City High’s oldest school records swimming a 5:01:48 in the 500Y freestyle and a 1:53:38 in the 200Y.

“You don’t see that very often in high school swimming. In the dual meet setting, you usually see records that are broken at the end of the season so she’s definitely one of the most skilled and competitive athletes that I’ve ever coached, and I’m excited to see how she does,” Hugo said.

The City High swim team has two practices a day. One taking place in the brisk mornings, around 5 a.m., and one later in the day after school classes are over. 

“Sometimes you don’t want to do something but you just gotta put your head down and do it,” Stalkfleet said. “[Swimming] is also a stress reliever. If I’m really stressed with school I can go to practice and not have to worry about it.”

Hugo reached out to Stalkfleet earlier this year to pursue City High swim.

“One of my goals is always to get the best athletes to join the team and this way that she is able to get the training she needs to be successful but is also able to work with coaches and teams that are willing to do what it takes and work together for her to be successful,” Hugo said.

When asked how City High swimming compares to club swimming, Stockfleet said, “With City High, there’s a lot of different levels of people, but we all come together as one team, versus with I Fly we’re all separated into our specific groups by level. The club is a lot more individualized.” 

In the future, Stockfleet hopes to compete in the 2021 Olympic trials held in Omaha Nebraska from June 13-20. She also hopes to get racing opportunities at state swimming in Marshalltown YMCA on November 13-14. 

“I really love the feeling of working towards goals and when I reach it, there’s always somewhere higher [to go],” Stalkfleet said. “It makes me feel super determined and hardworking, I feel like swimming gives me a purpose every day.”