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Muskie girls show depth in dual win over Wildcats

Muskie girls show depth in dual win over Wildcats

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MUSCATINE — Judd Anderson mixed things up for a Tuesday night dual meet against Davenport North.

The Muscatine swimming coach moved up some competitors from his junior varsity roster to help fill out the lineup and earn the Muskies a 123-45 win over the Wildcats at the Carver Swim Center.

Lizzie Utley was involved in four winning events on Tuesday, including individual wins in the 100 freestyle in 1 minute, 8.80 seconds and the 100 breaststroke in 1:29.28. Utley was also a part of the winning 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay teams.

"A lot of girls set a lot of PRs (personal records), which was really nice for the team," said Utley, a senior. "Judd tried to move us around to get us to do some new things so it was interesting to see how it all played out."

The Muskies won all but one event on Tuesday — the 50 freestyle was won by North's Katie Sturmer in 29.76 — even with many of the familiar faces on the Muskie roster sitting in timers' chairs instead of setting their own times in the pool.

With a home dual against Iowa City West and a Linn-Mar invitational meet on Thursday and Saturday, respectively, Anderson wanted to rest some of his more experienced swimmers like Tori Roth and Sarah Schemmel, though there was a small practice held after school prior to the meet for the girls that did not swim on Tuesday.

"The girls that don't have a lot of that experience, they get a chance to be out there in front," Anderson said. "We hope (the girls competing Tuesday) feel good about that. Girls like Lizzie and [senior] Rachel Schoer, they put in a lot of time over the years, so it's nice that they get a chance to be top dog in there."

With North's limited roster, Anderson also had to make sure that he didn't tire out his swimmers too quickly with the event finishing in under 80 minutes.

Other Muskies winning individual events on Tuesday were Meghan Custis in the 200 freestyle (2:36.13), Sarah Schoer in the 200 individual medley (2:42.95), Jaelynn Klein in the 100 butterfly (1:12.54) and 100 backstroke (1:12.81), and Rachel Schoer in the 500 freestyle (6:56.34).

Utley enjoyed having the usual starting swimmers rooting on their teammates in the pool on Tuesday.

Muskie senior Jaycie Klein used the night off to provide tips for her diving teammates Mallory Freers and Maddy Beik between dives. Freers narrowly bested her fellow sophomore teammate 119.90 to 112.25.

"It's a good confidence boost," Utley said. "It's nice to have your own little cheerleaders cheering you on."

Thursday's meet against the Women of Troy will be the first since Byron Butler was promoted to the head coaching position at Iowa City West. Butler is a former assistant at West as well as a multiple-record-holding swimmer for the University of Iowa prior to graduating in 2013.

Anderson noted that, like the Muskies, Iowa City West has a smaller roster but still has key pieces of a state-caliber team that will create a strong matchup for Muscatine.

Saturday's Linn-Mar invitational will feature intense competition as well — all the more reason for the Muskies to mix things up on Tuesday.

"I like to see some of the new kids smile and enjoy themselves with something like this," Anderson said. "It worked out well."


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