Blue Wave swimmers score gold at state

The Marshalltown Y hosted the YMCA State Swimming Championships March 2-3, with a pair of local Blue Wave swimmers achieving state titles.

Dalton Lillibridge was the state champion in the 50-yard breaststroke and the 100 breaststroke in the 11-12 age division, while Abby Hala placed atop the field in the 50 backstroke and the 50 freestyle in the 8-and-under division.

Marshalltown’s Blue Wave swim squad totaled 31 lifetime-best swims over the two-day event, finishing seventh as a team. Four Blue Wave relay teams posted placewinner performances as well.

Two Blue Wave swimmers were named Iowa All Stars: Shakira Herrera, 11, and Brayden Peterson, 11. Herrera placed as high as 13th in her four state meet events, while Peterson swam the opening leg on the 200 freestyle relay.

Hala also placed second in the 100 individual medley, while Lillibridge added a third-place performance in the 100 IM as well to highlight the Blue Wave state performances.

Leah Barkema, 16, and Zoe Beals, 12, also were three-time individual placewinners. Barkema was fourth in the 100 backstroke, fifth in the 50 free and sixth in the 100 free. Beals took fourth in the 50 free, fifth in the IM and eighth in the 100 free.

Emily Vest, 14, achieved two individual placewinner performances, taking fourth in the 100 backstroke and seventh in the 200 backstroke. Gage Petty, 12, was fourth in the 100 backstroke and sixth in the 100 freestyle.

Acacia Brown, 12, placed seventh in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke and was ninth in the 100 IM. Autumn Finch, 8, scored eighth in the 100 IM, and Hayden Oetker, 8, came in seventh in the 25 breaststroke and eighth in the 50 breaststroke. Klaudia Hernandez, 10, picked up fifth place in the 50 backstroke.

The foursome of Brianna Reynolds, Samantha Schleisman, Barkema and Vest placed sixth in both the girls’ 15-21 medley and 200 free relays. The boys 11-12 medley group of Petty, Peterson, Lillibridge and Coert Groff took seventh.

The girls 8-and-under medley relay team of Gia Hernandez, Oetker, Hala and Peyton Lustyk placed eighth, as did the boys 11-12 foursome of Peterson, Groff, Lillibridge and Petty.

Other Blue Wave state participants included Taylor Clemons, Autumn Finch, Emily Manis, Hannah Taylor, Sarah Taylor and Dane Petty.

“Myself and all the Blue Wave coaches are very proud of all of our swimmers and their accomplishments,” said Shelley Lechnir. “They have worked so hard this year and have reached most of their goals as individuals and as a team.”