Bobcats swimmers show off depth against Southeast Polk

The Marshalltown boy’s swim team has been on a good roll since coming back from Christmas break.

Coach Mike Loupee thought he would get two tough challenges from Fort Dodge and Southeast Poik, but what he really got was two convincing wins.

Coming off an impressive victory over the Dodgers on Thursday, the Bobcats kept the momentum going with another easy win as Marshalltown won all but two events and cruised to a 111-59 victory over the Rams.

“I think I may have overestimated their depth and underestimated ours,” Loupee said. “The nice thing was that even if we didn’t win the race, we won the event because we scored more points.”

The victory may have been even more impressive considering it was the second meet in three days and the practice in between on Friday was pretty intense, according to Loupee.

“We swam great Thursday and then had an intense practice Friday,” Loupee said. “We were asking a lot of them to come back and perform well on a Saturday morning, but the coaching staff is very pleased with how they swam.”

The meet against the Rams was an make-up event that was originally scheduled before the holiday break.

Paul Landherr and Sam Carter each had their hands in on four wins for the varsity, while John Mahlstede and Raymond Dulaney were each a part of three wins.

Landherr set four lifetime best swims Thursday and then added three more Saturday against the Rams. He won the 50-yard freestyle in 23.40 seconds and 100-yard freestyle in 51.70, while Carter was victorious in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:54.83 and 500-yard freestyle in 5:12.33. Mahlstede was an individual champion in the 100 backstroke in 58.93 and Dulaney claimed an individual win in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:08.34.

“Landherr is swimming really fast right now,” Loupee said. “He just gets better and better. It was nice to see Mahlstede break that 1-minute barrier in the backstroke. I am pleased with his effort in that event.”

It wasn’t just the wins that played a role in the team victory.

The depth of the Bobcats showed as they claimed a 1-2 finish in two events and added three swimmers in the top four in four events.

“The thing that won this meet for us was the fact that our second, third and fourth guys were getting 2-3-4 finishes and not 4-5-6 finishes,” Loupee said. “That is why the score got so lopsided.”

The Bobcats won all three relays.

The winning 200 medley relay consisted of Mahlstede, Van Staalduine, Dulaney and Landherr and they stopped the clock at 1:46.24. The 200-yard freestyle relay foursome included Dulaney, Carter, Connor Cope and Daniel Lothe and the winning 400 freestyle relay featured Carter, Landherr, Mahlstede and Van Staalduine. The 200 freestyle relay team was clocked at 1:39.94 and the 400 freestyle relay foursome hit the wall in 3:34.25.

Marshalltown also got second in the 200 freestyle relay and that foursome included Alex Heinrichs, Hunter Barnard, Jack Greene and Conner Beurskens.

The Bobcats didn’t just dominate the relays. Marshalltown had three of the top four finishes in four individual events and went 1-2 in both the 100 backstroke and 200 freestyle.

Barnard followed Carter in the 200 freestyle, while Van Staalduine was second behind Mahlstede in the 100 backstroke.

Ryan Hass also placed fourth in the backstroke to complete the 1-2-4 finish.

The Bobcats had similar finishes in the 50 and 500 freestyle. Landherr won the 50 but Cope and Lothe came in third and fourth, respectively, while Mahlstede and Cole Podhajsky followed Carter in the 500 freestyle with third and fourth place finishes.

Southeast Polk’s Brandon King won the 200-yard individual medley but the Bobcats came in second, third and fourth thanks to Dulaney, Beurskens and Heinrichs.

The other event Marshalltown did not win was the 100 butterfly as King also won that event. Van Staalduine was second though.

All in all, the Bobcats (3-4) set 30 season-best times and 15 lifetime-best times in the meet.

The Bobcats will next swim at Ames on Monday. That dual will begin at 5 p.m. The next home meet will be Senior Night on Monday, Jan. 14, at 5:30 p.m. against CIC North Division rival Mason City.