Four Jayettes compete Saturday at state swim meet

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Perry freshman Quin Mahler-Moreno sophomores Sophia McDevitt and Lily Riley and senior Jaylene Karolus endure a cold wind prior to leaving for the state swim meet Friday. The foursome competed in two relays Saturday, with Mahler-Moreno racing in the 500 freestyle. Photo courtesy Jim Dowd.


MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa — Senior Jaylene Karolus, sophomores Sophia McDevitt and Lily Riley and freshman Quin Mahler-Moreno swam in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays for Perry at the state swim meet Saturday.

Mahler-Moreno also competed in the 500 freestyle after having advanced to the A Finals after touching the wall in a Perry school record of 5 minutes, 9.05 seconds Friday. She clocked in at 5:11.58 Saturday to narrowly miss a medal and finish seventh overall after entering the meet as the No. 13 seed.

Her result scored 12 team points for the Jayettes.

Both Perry relays entered as the 24th seed in their respective races. The 200 medley relay unit was the 25th team overall after finishing in 1:56.16 in the timed finals Saturday, with the same quartet improving to 23rd in the 400 free relay in 3:47.63, .01 off their seed time.

“It was a very rewarding experience for the girls,” Perry head coach Jean Dowd said. “Especially for Jaylene, who swam in two events last year. With COVID restrictions there were no fans allowed, no teammates able to come, and it was very odd to have a silent pool at the state meet.”

“This year the place was full of fans and all the swimmers had teammates there and it was a loud and fun atmosphere, and I am sure it was a much better experience for Jaylene,” Dowd added. “I am so glad she got to have her career end this way.”

All schools in Iowa compete in one class in swimming and diving, for both boys and girls. Waukee was the team champion with 357 points, with Ames second at 260 while Iowa City West clipped Dowling Catholic, 216-215, for third place.

Dowd said she was very proud of the efforts of Karolus and Mahler-Moreno in their individual events and the Jayette foursome in both relays.

“We had great times, and the younger girls gained some great state meet experience, which is only going to help them next year,” Dowd said. “It was fun for them having their teammates there, too, to support them.”

Fellow Jayettes Emily Dowd and Zoe Hibbert were in Marshalltown both days to encourage their friends, with Hailey Peterson able to be on hand Friday. Jenna Nelson was unable to attend either session.

Perry head coach Jean Dowd was honored at the start of Saturday’s meet when she was awarded the IGHSAU Golden Plaque of Distinction. She is the 10th recipient of the award, not ninth as originally reported (based on errant information provided by the IGHSAU).

Perry girls swimming head coach Jean Dowd is presented the Golden Plaque of Distinction Award by IGHSAU Executive Director Jean Berger and Jason Eslinger at the state swim meet in Marshalltown Saturday. Photo courtesy Jim Dowd.

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