MUSCATINE — There was never a question whether the Muscatine boys swimming team would win its Mississippi Athletic Conference dual with Clinton on Thursday night.
A River King swimmer didn’t touch the wall before a Muskie swimmer in a varsity race until Clinton’s Ryan Dalton finished second in the 50 freestyle, the fourth event of the night.
Muscatine would go on to claim victory in all 11 events in a 129-41 victory at Carver Swim Center, one that saw the Muskies pushing for other benchmarks in their second straight dual win to open the season.
“Whenever you can get up there and put in some good times, try to get some personal bests to start the year off, it’s a good start,” said Muscatine senior Peter Hutton, a member of all three winning Muskie relays.
Along with Hutton playing a part in the 200 medley, 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay victories for Muscatine, Kyle Schoer and Evan Gerth also won three events, too.
Schoer claimed victory in the 50 freestyle in 24.21 seconds and the 100 freestyle in 54.29 in addition to helping the 400 free relay win in 3 minutes, 48.07 seconds. Gerth, meanwhile, won the 100 breaststroke in 1:12.12 and helped the 200 medley relay win in 1:56.91 and the 200 free relay win in 1:45.28.
Additionally, Jimmy Wood (200 and 500 freestyle) and John Wieskamp (200 individual medley and 100 butterfly) also won two individual events for Muscatine.
“We were pretty competitive early in the meet, competitive in terms of what they previously had done,” Muscatine boys swimming coach Judd Anderson said. “At the end, we ran out of gas pretty significantly. It means we got to do a lot more training, a lot more work."
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Schoer, a sophomore, was at the top of that list. A lifetime swimmer, he didn’t swim as a freshman for the Muskies last winter but has come out this season performing well.
“Set two new personal records, so I felt like I did pretty good,” Schoer said.
Normally a breaststroker, Schoer won the first two individual freestyle events he competed in this season against Clinton. Anderson hopes he can keep it up to help build up the Muskies still-in-construction roster.
“His times have been very good,” Anderson said. “I’m hoping that’s motivational to get him even a little more competitive so he can be a big-time point scorer in some of the bigger meets.”
Muscatine has performed well in freestyle events so far this season, which continued Thursday. The Muskies finished first, second and third in three of the five freestyle events against the River Kings.
“We need more specialty swimmers, though. We need people that will swim fly then we can have a pretty good medley relay,” Schoer said. “We’ve got pretty good freestylers already.”
Anderson also said he liked what he saw from the younger swimmers like sophomores Schoer, Wieskamp and Isaac Heth and freshman Carson Orr, who were part of at least one victory against Clinton, but he said the Muskies will begin to see a step up in competition beginning Saturday at the Cedar Falls Invite where, among others, the Muskies will face off against West Des Moines Dowling.
“We’ll see a little more in Dowling at Cedar Falls,” Anderson said. “… Maybe it’ll open some of our eyes a little bit if anybody thinks it’s going to be a simple season.”