The Northeastern Swim Team (NST) claimed their ninth Sportsmanship Award at the 2018 14 & Under State Championship meet in Des Moines this month. The award is given to the team which demonstrates the best sportsmanship and team spirit during championship meets. This is the team's third consecutive state Sportsmanship award at the 14 & Under Championships. The NST coaches were also named the 2018 Age Group Coaching Staff of Year.
"While we pride ourselves on creating fast swimmers in Northeast Iowa, it's really much more than that. We create a sense of pride in what we do and where we are from," said Head NST Coach Eric Crawford. "It's about teaching life lessons such as discipline and respect. It really is great to see our swimmers demonstrate such excellent sportsmanship at the state level. Our swimmers finish a race and will congratulate their competitors. Everyone is there to swim well and do their best."
That wasn't the only accomplishment NST reached. At the start of this season the swimmers got together and set a goal to beat out many other larger city teams in the state and finish in the top 10 as a team in the state. NST had to qualify as many members of their team as possible for the state meet--and they were able to send 37 swimmers to the state meet, their most ever.
At the state meet, by the end of the first day of competition on Thursday, NST was 11th by a few points. At the end of Friday the swimmers were 11th by 20 points. At the end of Saturday NST was 11th by 9.5 points. Heading into the final relays on Sunday the team was 11th by just 1 point. The relay results pushed them over the top and they finished in 10th place overall with 816 points, ahead of Linn-Mar, who finished 11th with 757 points. The NSY boys finished 6th overall in the state with 548.5 points and the NSY girls finished 14th in the state with 267.5 points.
"Finishing in the top ten in the state is a huge accomplishment for our area. Considering we are facing teams from much larger cities, we really held our own," said Coach Crawford. "This was a goal the swimmers set for themselves. I am really proud of our swimmers for pushing the boundaries of what is possible."
The Northeastern Swim Team will take the month of March off. Registration is now available for their Long Course and Spring season on the team's website (NortheasternSwimTeam.com) and practices will resume in April.
State Participants: Julia Alberts (13), Alex Berg (10), Dominic Bigalk (12), Topher Bigalk (13), Drew Chamberlain (14), Mason Cote (12), Weston Cote (8), Kenzie Gallagher (10), Ian Giddings (10), Max Grimstad (9), Carson Hager (11), Bradyn Hook (14), Caleb Huebner (13), Cole Huebner (13), Rylee Kapler (13), Timmy Kapler (10), Anna Knaack (8), Isaac Knaack (12), Isaak Kovarik (10), Katerina Kovarik (12), Simon Kutz (12), Cael LaFrentz (10), Kathleen Looney (13), Maxwell Maitland (12), Maggie Norris (11), Erica Ollendick (10), Brenna Parker (11), Margaret Rhodes (13), Will Robinson (10), Megan Roe (12), Gareth Sweet (12), Jaylee Vobr (9), Joey Vobr (12), Brock Voyna (11), Emily Voyna (14), Trenton Voyna (8), Paige Werner (12).