Kuehner, Barkema lead Bobcats at Johnston Invite

JOHNSTON – The Marshalltown swim team went head-to-head with several of the best teams in the entire state Saturday and the Bobcats held their own in several events at the Johnston Invitational.

Seniors Leah Barkema and Chloe Kuehner both placed in four events for MHS, helping the Bobcats take seventh with 87 points.

Barkema paced the Bobcats individually with a second-place finish in the 100 freestyle and a seventh-place tally in the 50 freestyle. Kuehner was sixth in the 100 breaststroke and 10th in the 200 individual medley as well.

Defending state champion Ames paced the competition by scoring 331.5 points to win the team title. Host Johnston was second with 270.5, while Waukee was third at 198, Council Bluffs Lewis Central finished fourth at 183 and Ankeny placed fifth at 130 points. Southeast Polk finished eight points ahead of the Bobcats in sixth.

Barkema’s runner-up time in the 100 freestlye was 55.12 seconds and she hit the wall in the 50 freestyle in 25.56. Kuehner was clocked at 1:13.13 in the breaststroke and 2:23.67 in the individual medley.

Both swimmers also were a part of relays that scored points Saturday.

They each teamed with Emily Vest and Raechel Hannam to take sixth in the 200 medley relay, while Kuehner, Maggie Carnahan, Melisa Fonseca and Hayley Lillibridge were 10th in the 200 freestyle relay and Lillibridge, Carnahan, Barkema and Fonseca were seventh in the 400 freestyle relay.

Lillibridge also produced points in an individual event. The Bobcat senior was ninth in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:06.84.

The other individuals who scored points for the Bobcats included Carolina Freire-Vales and Hannam, who were 10th and 11th, respectively, in the 100 breaststroke. Phoebe Lynk and Katie Gassman also placed in diving with Lynk taking 9th and Gassman finishing in 11th.

A second relay team scored points for the Bobcats in the 200 medley relay. The team of Ashley Hala, Freire-Vales, Emily Barske and DarC Vopava was 13th overall.

The Bobcats return to the pool Tuesday when they host defending state champion Ames at 5:30 p.m.