Little Cyclones leave MHS boys in their wake

AMES – The miles continue to pile on, but so must the meets.

The Marshalltown boys’ swim team participated in its final road dual of the season, falling 109-61 to rival Ames in Monday’s Central Iowa Conference North Division meet.

The Little Cyclones claimed first place in all but the opening race, as Marshalltown’s quartet of John Mahlstede, Raymond Dulaney, Blair Van Staalduine and Paul Landherr clocked in with a winning time of 1 minute, 46.25 seconds in the 200-yard medley relay.

But that was the last time the Bobcats (3-5, 1-1) topped the podium against the host Little Cyclones. Chris Merchant, Wyatt Rasmussen and Alex Pyle each captured a pair of individual event victories for Ames, with MHS finishing second in nine of the last 10 races.

“They’re swimming pretty tired, this was their third meet in five days,” noted Bobcat head coach Mike Loupee. “We’re content with the effort and the times tonight.”

MHS charted 20 season-best times and 13 lifetime-bests despite a morning practice session and the busy schedule. It was Marshalltown’s first loss in the five-day stretch after returning from the holiday break with wins over Fort Dodge and Southeast Polk.

“The times continue to come down, so this was a pretty good performance,” Loupee added. “We had some really close races and the guys competed really well.”

Mahlstede logged a lifetime-best effort in his third-place performance in the 100 freestyle (54.90) and matched his personal best in finishing second in the 100 backstroke (59.64).

Blair Van Staalduine came in second in back-to-back events – the 50 freestyle and the 100 butterfly – while Sam Carter took silver in the 200 and 500 freestyle events.

Loupee said that Hunter Barnard came up with a pair of lifetime bests, finishing third in the 100 butterfly (1:05.52) and with his leg of the 400 freestyle relay (57.36).

Marshalltown closes out its dual meet schedule with its Senior Night match against Mason City next Monday at the MHS pool. The Central Iowa Conference meet is Jan. 19 at Summit Middle School in Johnston.