By Rob Levis, Coach

Tuesday night was a long night for the Vinton-Shellsburg CPU swim team, but one well worth the time.  Facing 10 other schools the Stormin’ Vikes finished a strong third place in turning in their best single meet performance since 2010.

The evening started off fast for the Stormin’ Vikings in the 200 Medley Relay.  Seeded second, the A relay team of SRs Tyler Hekel, Isaac Vrba, FR Isaac Allsup and SO Cyrus Elwick hung on for a thrilling victory over Iowa City West.  In doing so the team dropped more than 4 ½ second from heir season best and registered the best time in that event for the team since 2010.

This would be but the first of several big wins and top finishes on the evening.  Isaac Allsup had the next victory, winning the 100 Backstroke.  Joining him on the podium with a 3rd place finish was SR Tyler Hekel who dropped over three seconds.  Allsup also finished 4th in the 100 Butterfly, an event that also saw SR Lewis Williams earn his way onto the podium with a 6th place finish.

Isaac Vrba cruised to a dominating win in the 100 Breast.  In that swim, he dropped over five seconds from his previous best time winning the race by nearly six seconds.  JR Tristan Williams finished 7th in that same race, also pulling off a huge drop in time of 5 seconds.  The duo of Miller and Vrba combined on several other strong swims as well, with each dropping more than 1 ½ second in the 50 free to finish 7th and 8th respectively.  They were also part of the 3rd place 200 Free Relay team that included SR Dylan Geater and FR Cyrus Elwick.   That team’s time of 1:42.53 also was the best by a Viking squad since 2010.

Cyrus Elwick also found his way near the top of the podium stand with a close 2nd place finish in the 50 Free and a 3rd in the 100 Free.

Beyond all of the wins and medals, the meet was significant in the amount of improvement across the entire lineup.  Thirteen swimmers competed in a total of 46 races.  Every one of them registered at least two new personal best times while the team turned in 38 in total.  Eight swimmers hit personal bests in every event they swam – Tyler Hekel, Isaac Vrba, Donny Sass, Tristan Miller, Anthony Hilton, Andrew Jessen, Rickey Chase and Zach Kramer.

The meet, hosted by CR Washington, involved 11 schools from across the MVC and showcased swimmers from these large programs who would not be swimming at Districts.  Larger programs like Washington, Linn-Mar, the Iowa City and Dubuque schools may have squads of 30-40 athletes – only 12-15 of whom will be able to swim at the district meet.  This annual invitational allows the remaining 20 or more guys to have an opportunity to swim a championship meet.  The meet included some excellent big school swimmers, who were tapered and wearing tech suits, and is a great tune up as our team heads into Conference and Districts.

The Storming Vikings continue with a make-up meet Thursday night in Grinnell before heading to Boone Sunday for the North Central Swim Conference Meet.  Districts will be Saturday, February 3rd at Linn-Mar.

See results here: 1099_001

See photos of the swimmers by clicking the links below!