Looking back at Jayettes at state swim meet

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The Perry swimmers march in the team parade at the start of Saturday's state meet at the YMCA in Marshalltown. Photo courtesy Jim Dowd.


MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa — Perry sent six events to the girls state swim meet Friday and Saturday, with the Jayettes leaving the Marshalltown YMCA with plenty of reasons to be pleased.

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.

Senior Jaylene Karolus and freshman Quin Mahler-Moreno each swam in two preliminary heats Friday. There were a total of 32 qualifying individuals and teams in each event, with the first eight qualifiers advancing the A finals Saturday while spots 9-16 reached the B finals on day two in individual races. Saturday’s relays were timed finals.

Karolus swam as a junior at state in an empty pool because of COVID restrictions. She was 24th in the 100 freestyle in 55.32 seconds and 27th in the 50 free in 25.25.

She returned as a senior to swim before a full house and raucous crowd. Her second shot in the 50 free ended with the standout 17th in a school record 24.62. She had been seeded 18th in 24.74.

Karolus was 23rd in the 100 butterfly in 1:00.71 after being the 24th seeds in 1:00.22.

Mahler-Moreno swam a school record 5:09.05 Friday to reach the A finals. She had been the 13th seed with a 5:13.73 and finished seventh in the state Saturday with a 5:11.58, giving her the three fastest times in the event in PHS history.

It was the highest placing at state for a Jayette swimmer since 1998 and scored 12 team points.

The freshman had also raced Friday in the 100 breaststroke, which she entered as the 22nd seed in 1:08.62. She finished 22nd, touching in a school record 1:08.32.

Karolus and Mahler-Moreno were joined Saturday by sophomore Sophia McDevitt and Lily Riley for both the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays. Each was the No. 24 seed, the former in 1:55.08 and the latter in 3:47.62.

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.

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 also received the additional honor of leading the parade of swimmers onto the deck just before the start of the meet on day two.

All photos are provided courtesy of Jim Dowd.

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