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The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

Staff Profile

City Boys Swim Off to State

Three individual swimmers and relay racers with be competing in Iowa City for the State Championship
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City swimmer at the City vs West duel.

The boys state swimming competition will be held at the University of Iowa Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Friday for prelims and Saturday for the bigger races. Online viewers can watch the meet through KCRG 9.2 website and the IAHSAA website

City qualified with three individual swimmers in four different events and three different relays. A few swimmers included in these qualifications are Joe Polyak ‘24 who is committed to the University of Minnesota and a captain on the team this year, Philip Berry-Stoelzle ‘26 and Braydon Calonder ‘26. For relays, swimmers such as Charlie Pfohl ‘24 and Grant Bumsted ‘25 will be leading and a part of the relay events. 

“You know, it’s my final year and to make it all four years of swimming and end off on a really good note, it feels really nice. It’s also really nice to see some of the newer guys make it to State and some guys who’ve never made it before,” Pfohl said. 

With this being a new group of swimmers, the “state experience” may be new for certain team members. 

“This is only my third year swimming, so it feels really good to finally make it on my own in a relay. I’m looking forward to having fun, because the first day is prelims so I really just get to mess around and not really have to do anything till the second day,” Bumsted, a relay swimmer, said. 

Head coach Mandi Kowal is also a key to the success of the team, with her having to withstand potential challenges and helping to train her team to the best of their abilities. 

“It hasn’t always been easy, but they’ve committed to what I put in front of them and they do it. And then as a result, they’re making big changes. What they have done time and time again is be incredibly resilient, and race as hard as they can on that particular day,” Kowal said.

This team has been preparing for this event for the whole season and it really is the key time to show off their skills and what they’ve been working on. Individual swimmers will have to compete in prelims and make it in the top 16 to be able to compete for the final races on Saturday. 

“I am planning to just take it out as fast as I can hang on as long as I can see if I can outpace the other swimmers. We’ll see how that goes. And 100 breaststroke that’ll be a sprint. Mandi has prepared me very well for this, and I believe that I have the strength to really get through that 100 and show off my sprinting ability that we’ve been working on.” Polyak said.

 

CITY STATE QUALIFIERS:

Individual Swimmers:

Joe Polyak ‘24 – 100y Breaststroke & 200y Individual Medley

Philip Berry-Stoelzle ‘26 – 100y Freestyle & 200y Individual Medley

Braydon Calonder ‘26 – 200y Freestyle

200y Freestyle Relay: Joe Polyak, Braydon Calonder, Grant Bumsted, Charlie Pfohl

200y Medley Relay: Lars Hackathorn, Philip Berry-Stoelzle, Grant Bumsted, Charlie Pfohl

400y Freestyle Relay: Philip Berry-Stoelzle, Charlie Pfohl, Braydon Calonder, Joe Polyak

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Amelie Donovan, Assistant Sports Editor
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