The Road to State: 6AM-6PM

Diving into the future with City High’s 23-24 women’s swim team
Grace Hopper 25 anchors against Dubuque Senior in the 200Y Freestyle relay.
Grace Hopper ’25 anchors against Dubuque Senior in the 200Y Freestyle relay.
Lili Moessner

Record-breaking swims, some of the fastest times City High has seen, a season full of dedication, positivity, and enthusiasm, all building up to one big goal: qualifying for state.

Margalit Frank ‘24 and Grace Hoeper ‘25 are both part of City High’s fastest relay, the 200Y Freestyle. In the past, qualifying all three relays was out of reach by seconds, but this year it’s different.

“We are headed in a really good direction,” Frank, a captain of this year’s team, shared. “We want to qualify all three of our relays for state (the 200 medley, 4×50 freestyle, and 4×100 freestyle) because we haven’t qualified all three in a couple years. This team is the most collaborative team that I’ve been on in my years here, I’m excited to see where that takes us.”

Preparing for an individual event, Ellie Galloway ’25 takes her mark. (Lili Moessner)

Diving off the block, Frank, the third leg of City High’s 200Y Freestyle Relay, got in the water with the intention of catching up to Dubuque Senior in their meet on Tuesday, September 5th. As Frank shortened the distance between the two teams, Hoeper took her mark. No one on the pool deck was surprised when Hoeper anchored her team with an unstoppable split, beating Senior by 2.8 seconds after they started off behind.

Hoeper leads the state with her unbeatable times in the 50Y Freestyle and 100Y Butterfly, but those times do not just show up: they’re sparked by dedication.

“Personally, my first goal is to qualify for state. And from there, it’s all about looking at those times and seeing where I can go from there, learning what I can fix and improve on,” Hoeper ‘25 said about her personal goals. But she is not the only member of the team showing up.

With two practices a day, City’s women’s swim and dive have a 12 hour day every day. Between swimming and school, there is nothing limiting their commitment and dedication towards improvement. Saorise Miller ‘25 and Senior Captain Avery Mann ‘24 are proof that hard work pays off. With top 15 times in the state in individual races, both girls never fail to impress their competition in the 100Y Breaststroke and 500Y Freestyle, respectively. 

Avery Mann ’24 poses for a picture in between races. (Lili Moessner)

“It is impressive that all of our girls are able to continue to do their best without an audience. They are not proving anything to anyone except themselves.” Frank  commented on the lack of student sections and support in general for women’s swimming. “So much of athletic accomplishment is based on mindset.”

As captain, Frank has had a strong career, though she often reflects on the lack of peer support she and many other female swimmers have received. School records have been broken, at relays the team has swept their competition, and the girls swim team has done it all on their own.

The future of City High women’s swim looks stronger than ever as their times improve and the swimmers get faster. 

“I want to leave this program with the idea and perspective of this is City High swimming, this is what we do,” Hoeper said about this season’s team. “It’s important to leave the team knowing that they all hold their expectations high, and leave them with that strong, close-knit community also.” 

Margalit Frank ’24, dives in for her leg in the 200Y Freestyle relay. (Lili Moessner)


Important dates coming up for girls swimming: 

  • Sept 16th, 2023, Little Hawk Relays at Mercer
  • Sept. 23rd, 2023, Cougar Invitational at Cedar Rapids Kennedy
  • Sept. 26th, 2023, versus Iowa City West at Mercer (SENIOR NIGHT)
  • October 19th/21st, 2023, MVC Championships

Link to full schedule: HERE

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