MARSHALLTOWN - Judging strictly by her frowns, you might have thought Kelsey Drake had an awful day at the 48th annual state swimming meet in Marshalltown Saturday.
But that wasn't it. She simply wanted to swim faster, especially in the 100 butterfly, even though she submitted the best time of her life by a few tenths of a second.
Drake placed second in both the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly, both times to girls who are two or three years older than the Jefferson ninth grader. Her times in both events were good enough to earn her all-American consideration.
The frowns gave way to smiles after the meet as she realized what she had just accomplished in the crowded, noisy pool at the Marshalltown YMCA as just a freshman.
"I'm fine with second place," she insisted. "To me it really doesn't matter. It's more my time.
"I was really happy with my 200 IM time. I dropped about two seconds from that time. But my 100 fly - I was hoping to go 54."
Drake was clocked in 55.48 seconds in the 100 butterfly to finish second behind Bettendorf senior Maddy Burhham, who prevailed in 54.73 seconds.
Drake covered the 200 IM in 2:04.85, trailing Pleasant Valley junior Sydney Angell by a scant 33-hundredths of a second to the wall.
Drake said her temporary frowns had little to do with placing second in either race.
"Of course I want to win. I come to win," she said. "But also I come to get the times that I want. If I had a really good time, like in my 200 IM, and somebody beats me, I'm happy for them. I was totally fine with that."
Drake said she had trouble finding her rhythm in the butterfly.
"My 100 fly just didn't feel on," she remarked. "My first 25, it felt perfect, but then after that I felt my stroke wasn't long. I was short with short, choppy strokes. I needed to lay out more and kind of relax and get into it."
Linn-Mar freshman Jennifer Jenks placed third in the 100 freestyle but faltered in the 200 free, landing in 11th place. She swam extremely well at the regional meet last Saturday, but her times at the state meet were slower than a week ago.
"An off day, I guess," said Jenks, in good spirits as usual. "I was a little rusty, but what happens happens. I can only go up from here, I hope.
"I try not to let stuff get me down, because you really can't help what happens. You just have bad days sometimes and you have to go with it."
Drake and Jenks were the highest finishers among Metro swimmers, many of whom did not perform the way they would have liked.
The Kennedy Cougars, fresh off a surprising team championship at the regional meet in Iowa City last week, were hoping for a top-10 finish at state, but they had to settle for 14th place in the standings.
The Linn-Mar Lions finished 17th, Jefferson placed 20th and Washington was 29th.
Kennedy scored points in six events, but the Cougars did not finish higher than ninth in any of their races. Brooke Timmerman placed ninth in the 100 breastroke and their 200 medley relay team also took ninth place.
The Cougars finished 10th in the 200 freestyle relay and 11th in the 400 freestyle relay. Timmerman placed 13th in the 200 IM and Sam Jacobsen was 13th in the 100 backstroke.
Linn-Mar finished ninth in the 200 freestyle relay and 13th in the 400 freestyle relay. Stephanie Jenks placed 16th in the 500 freestyle.
Jefferson finished 14th in the 200 freestyle relay. Logan Eckhardt of Washington placed 15th in the 100 breaststroke.
Ames won the state title for the fourth straight year.
1. Ames 302, 2. Pleasant Valley 249, 3. West Des Moines Valley 182, 4. Cedar Falls 177, 5. Lewis Central 166, 6. Bettendorf 138, 7. Iowa City West 111, 8. Waukee 107, 9. Dubuque Senior 91, 10. Johnston 89.
11. Muscatine 78, 12. Newton 72, 13. Mason City 66, 14. Kennedy 61, 15. (tie) Ankeny 58, Southeast Polk 58, 17. Linn-Mar 56, 18. (tie) Spencer 50, Des Moines Roosevelt 50, 20. Jefferson 40.
21. (tie) Des Moines North 28, Iowa City High 28, 23. Sioux City North 23, 24. (tie) Dowling 12, Boone 12, 26. Marshalltown 8, 27. (tie) Davenport West 5, Fairfield 5, 29. Washington 2, 30. Grinnell 1.
200 medley relay - Ames 1:45.50 (state record)
200 freestyle - Allyssa Fluit, SE Polk, 1:49.43 (state record)
200 IM - Sydney Angell, Pleasant Valley, 2:04.52
50 freestyle - Maddy Burnham, Bettendorf, 23.31
100 butterfly - Maddy Burnham, Bettendorf, 54.73
100 freestyle - Lauren Leehy, Lewis Central, 51.68
500 freestyle - Allyssa Fluit, SE Polk, 4:56.61
200 freestyle relay - Bettendorf 1:35.83
100 backstroke - Sara Bentley, Ames, 56.70
100 breaststroke - Lizzie Brown, Iowa City High, 1:03.86
400 freestyle relay - Lewis Central 3:29.27 (state record)
9th - 200 medley relay (Sam Jacobsen, Brooke Timmerman, Michele Wasta, Kirsten Siebenga) 1:51.03
9th - Brooke Timmerman, 100 breaststroke, 1:08.23
10th - 200 freestyle relay (Hannah Botkin, Sam Jacobsen, Brooke Timmerman, Kirsten Siebenga) 1:39.87
11th - 400 freestyle relay (Hannah Botkin, Sam Jacobsen, Maddie Bagby, Kirsten Siebenga) 3:39.98
13th - Brooke Timmerman, 200 IM, 2:15.23
13th - Sam Jacobsen, 100 backstroke, 1:00.31
3rd - Jenn Jenks, 100 freestyle, 52.15
9th - 200 freestyle relay (Jenn Jenks, Samantha Fitzgerald, Hailey Harms, Stephanie Jenks) 1:39.57
11th - Jenn Jenks, 200 freestyle, 1:55.09
13th - Alyssa Deuso, diving, 397.90
13th - 400 freestyle relay (Stephanie Jenks, Hailey Harms, Hannah Gardner, Jenn Jenks) 3:41.06
14th - Mikaela Lengwin, diving, 394.55
16th - Stephanie Jenks, 500 freestyle, 5:23.45
2nd - Kelsey Drake, 200 IM, 2:04.85
2nd - Kelsey Drake, 100 butterfly, 55.48
14th - 200 freestyle relay (Kelsey Drake, Jaylee Chung, Olivia Northrup, Ashley Anderson) 1:40.70
15th - Logan Eckhardt, 100 breaststroke, 1:09.30
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