IOWA CITY, Iowa – Cedar Falls claimed its sixth consecutive team title at the Mississippi Valley Conference girls' swimming meet Saturday at Mercer Aquatic Center in Iowa City, but not without a stiff challenge from the Women of Troy.
Beginning with Thursday's diving competition, won decisively by Iowa City West junior Jacintha Thomas, the Women of Troy led the team points total through the first 11 events before succumbing to Cedar Falls in the 12th and final event, the 400 free relay. The relay win pushed the Cedar Falls point total to 396, just 7.5 points ahead of runner-up and Mississippi Division champion Iowa City West.
"To be very honest, I didn't think we'd be nearly that close to Cedar Falls in this meet here," West Coach Rob Miecznikowski said. "The girls are super tired. They stepped it up and did a fantastic job. I couldn't ask for any more."
Cedar Falls was led by junior Brittany Moffatt, who anchored both the meet-clinching 400 free relay win and a win in the 200 free relay to go with her individual wins in the 200 and 500 free.
West senior Lilian Zhu captured the 100 backstroke by nearly two full seconds in 1:00.59.
"I like that event, it's a really good one," Zhu said. "Still trying to get under a minute, but like I said, I'm tired; as I should be. Honestly, if I was doing a lot better I'd be kind of worried thinking I'm not as tired as I should be."
Cedar Rapids Kennedy finished third overall with a team score of 316.50. Senior Hannah Botkin earned bronze in the 50 free, while the Cougar relay teams finished second in the 200 medley (1:55.14) and third in the 200 free (1:42.40) relays.
"The girls swam well for this time of year," Kennedy Coach John Ross said. "Our relays were good, not far off from season bests."
Freshman Kelsey Drake shined for Cedar Rapids Jefferson, notching dominant wins in the 200 individual medley (2:11.13) and a conference-record time of 57.19 in the 100 butterfly. Jefferson placed eighth overall with 100 points.
"It was good, I wanted my IM to be faster but it was OK," Drake said. "I didn't feel the best but my 100 fly was a lot better and I was happy with that."
Linn-Mar finished fourth overall with 259 points. Freshman Jenn Jenks overtook Dubuque Senior's Molly Lembezeder over the final 25 yards of the 100 free, touching the wall in 53.45 seconds, a mere one hundreth of a second faster than the event favorite.
"It was crazy, that is so close," Jenks said of her reaction as the times were posted. "A photo finish for sure."
Jenks took runner-up in the 200 free.
Regional meets begin Oct. 31 with the diving portion and continue Nov. 2 with the swimming events.