Much ado about Muscatine: Muskies bid for state three-peat

A pair of NCAA Division I signees have Muscatine sitting pretty in its bid to win a third consecutive Iowa Boys’ State Swimming Meet today at the Marshalltown Community Y.

The Muskies will attempt to become the sixth team in state history to win at least three straight state titles, led by University of Denver recruit Travis Greenwald and University of Pittsburgh-bound Haden Calegan.

Greenwald brings five gold medals into his final go-round at the state meet in Marshalltown, which begins at 12:30 p.m. today. The Muscatine senior is the two-time defending champion in the 100 breaststroke and also was on the Muskies’ two-time defending 200 medley relay champion squads. Last year Greenwald claimed a third gold as a part of the 200 freestyle relay team.

The No. 1 Muskies can expect a challenge from second-ranked Cedar Rapids Washington and third-rated Johnston, but they’re also equipped to handle the pressure.

Muscatine has three former individual state champions back for today’s meet, and the team has 14 total entries with five of them sitting as top seeds.

The Muskies also boast the top three qualifying times in the 200-yard individual medley, paced by super-sophomore Alex Walton. Walton has the fastest qualifying times in the individual medley and the 100 backstroke, is on the top-seeded 200 medley relay team and the third-seeded 400 freestyle relay squad.

In order to unseat Muscatine, some of the top competition will have to use strength in numbers. Dowling Catholic, ranked fourth, has 20 total entries with two top seeds, while fifth-rated Valley has 18 state entrants.

No. 2 Cedar Rapids Washington has just nine state meet entrants but three of them have top-seeded qualifying times, including both freestyle relays. Johnston has 15 entries, while a dark horse in the race will be 10th-ranked Iowa City West and its 12 qualifiers.

A total of 202 athletes from 36 schools will be competing in today’s state meet at the Marshalltown Y, 10 of which have won previous state meet golds in individual or relay races.