Fort Pierce, FL - Iowa Central men's and women's swimming program was able to put on a show at the NJCAA National Swimming Championships with the men taking 3rd and the women taking 4th for the first time ever.
"I couldn't be prouder of this group of kids, I told the kids from the beginning of the season that we could do something special if we stay focused and kept at it", said Coach Peterson.
The Tritons were able to surprise all of NJCAA swimming in their first season back and put themselves on the map as real contenders amongst the NJCAA.
The men's program finished the week with 21 All-Americans (Top 8 Placings) and 42 overall top 16 swims all the while breaking 11 school records at the end of this season. The men's program really shined through the weekend.
"I knew last summer that we had a very talented group of boys but it would take some focus and determination to accomplish what they did this season", added Coach Pederson.
Coach Pederson really believed that it was the team spirit and a real team effort.
"It is so hard for me to pick any one swim that was a stand out on the men's side. The boys really came together and shown through as a team at the most critical point and it was something special for all of us, they were able to accomplish in one season what many programs work years to build into," explained Coach Peterson.
The men's team has a lot of talent coming off this year as freshman going into next year. The Tritons will look forward to what school record holders, Thomas Kappe, Lucas Wittmann, Badr Benassila, Nick Brunellie and Devon Anderson can do in their sophomore season. We are fortunate to not have any swimmers graduating on the men's side and should have an extremely strong team going into the 2016-2017 season.
Below is a list of all of the men and their personal accomplishments in order of the highest point scorers at the NJCAA National Championships.
53 – Thomas Kappe – 5th 200IM, 4th 200Med Relay (IC Record), 5th 100Fly, 3rd 200Fr Relay (IC Record), 5th100Fly, 4th 400Med, 4th 100IM (IC Record), 8th 100Fr, 4th 400Fr Relay (IC Record)
46 – Lucas Wittmann – 4th 200Med Relay (IC Record), 200Fr Relay (IC Record) (IC Record 50fr Lead Off), 3rd100Fly, 2nd 800Fr Relay (IC Record), 3rd 50Fly (IC Record), 5th 100Fr (IC Record), 4th 400Fr Relay (IC Record)
46 – Badr Benassila – 7th 200IM, 4th 200 Med Relay (IC Record), 7th 200Fr, 3rd 200 Fr Relay (IC Record), 6th100back, 2nd 800fr Relay (IC Record), 9th 100fr, 4th 400fr Relay (IC Record)
42 – Nicholas Brunellie – 13th 200IM, 8th 100Fly, 3rd 200 Fr Relay (IC Record), 4th 400 Medley Relay, 8th 200 Fly, 2nd 800 Fr Relay (IC Record), 5th 50 Fly, 4th 400 Fr Relay (IC Record)
35 – Devon Anderson – 14th 200IM, 7th 400IM, 4th 400 Medley Relay, 13th 100 Back, 6th 200 Back (IC Record)
25 – James Maag – 9th 1000Fr, 13th 200Fr, 4th 400Med Relay, 12th 500fr, 2nd 800fr Relay (IC Record), 14th200Bk
24 – Josh Lee – 8th 50Breast, 4th 200Med Relay (IC Record), 15th 100Fly, 13th 100IM, 10th 50Fly
19 – Michael Diorio – 11th 1000Fr, 11th 400IM, 19th 500Fr, 10th 1650fr
17 – Connor Salazar – 10th 50Br, 14th 50Bk, 17th 100Bk, 12th 200BK
17 – Isaac Sauer – 15th 50fr, 11th 50BK, 10th 100BK, 15th 100Fr
9 – Grant Isaak – 15th 200IM, 18th 100Fly, 11th 100IM , 16th 200Bk
7 – Zach Keating – 18th 1000Fr, 15th 400IM, 12th 1650, 18th 200BK
1 – Ashton Hatting – 20th 1000Fr, 21st 200Fr, 22nd 500Fr, 16th 1650Fr
Jayson Kitts – 27th 50Fr, 27th 100Fr
Joshua Papenhagen – 22nd 1000Fr, 19th 200Fr, 17th 500Fr
The women also has a great performance for the new Triton swimming program. They went into the meet with a smaller squad then we had hoped but knew the girls we had would do some great things at the national meet this year. Iowa Central was super deep in the Sprints Free, Fly and Breastroke and our lone 2 Backstrokers Ellie Russel and Sarah Lebsock did a great job. Mckenna Lynch was Iowa Centrals single highest placer getting second in the 100fr breaking Iowa Central School Record. The unique part of the girls meet is that going into the last relay they had to get 2nd and Monroe Community College had to get 4th.
"Our girls had to drop over 10 seconds in their seed time in the 400fr relay to pull of the third place finish as a team. The girls 400Fr Relay was seeded 10 seconds behind 2nd place and they had a massive swim to get themselves to a touch finish at the end of the relay. Unfortunately we got touched out for second and ended up 4th as a team by only 2 points", said Coach Peterson.
The women's program has been fortunate to get sophomores Mckenna Lynch, Elli Russel, Kassi Messerly and Lauren Underwood to have lead us through this season. We look forward to what school record holders AnnMarie Spiker, Ashleigh Beacham, Kate Kokemiller, Augusta Weber and Sarah Lebsock can do in leading us into our second season as a program.
Through the season and the meet the girls broke 13 school records, they had 18 Top 8 All-American swims and 34 second swims through the meet. The girls and their placings at nationals are listed down below.
61 – Mckenna Lynch – 4th 200IM (IC Record), 3rd 200Med Relay (IC Record), 4th 200Fr Relay (IC Record), 6th100Fly (IC Record), 3rd 400Med Relay (IC Record), 3rd 200Fly (IC Record), 2nd 100Fr (IC Record), 3rd 400Fr Relay (IC Record)
58 – AnnMarie Spiker – 3rd 50Br (IC Record), 7th 200IM, 3rd 200Med Relay (IC Record), 3rd 100Br, 5th 800Fr Relay, 5th 200Br
44 – Kate Kokemiller – 4th 50Br, 4th 200Fr Relay (IC Record), 14th 200Fr, 5th 100Br, 5th 800Fr Relay, 7th 200Br
43 – Ashleigh Beacham – 8th 1000Fr, 3rd 200Med Relay (IC Record), 9th 100Fly, 3rd 400Med Relay (IC Record), 5th 200Fly, 5th 800fr Relay, 9th 50Fly, 3rd 400Fr Relay (IC Record)
26 – Lauren Underwood – 10th 50Br, 8th 100IM, 12th 100Br, 14th 200Br
24 – Augusta Weber – 11th 50Br, 14th 50Fr, 3r 200Med Relay (IC Record), 9th 50BK, 4th 200Fr Relay (IC Record), 11th 100Fr, 3rd 400Fr Relay (IC Record)
13 – Sarah Lebsock – 17th 50Fr, 4th 200Fr Relay (IC Record), 11th 200Fr, 3rd 400Med Relay (IC Record), 14th100BK, 5th 800Fr Relay, 13th 100Fr, 3rd 400Fr Relay (IC Record)
7 – Elli Russell – 23rd 50Fr, 11th 50Bk, 17th 100Bk, 16th 200Bk
3 – Kassandra Messerly – 21st 50Fr, 16th 100Fly, 15th 50Fly, 19th 100Fr
Rebecca Steig – 26th 200Fr