Fort Dodge state swimming qualifiers are, left to right, Kylen Lubensky, Hailey Vogel, Julia Eastman, Raegan Wooldridge, Delaney O’Connor, Gracie Harvey.
MARSHALLTOWN — Qualifying for the state tournament isn’t good enough for the Fort Dodge swim team, they want more.
A year ago the Dodgers had three events reach A finals and earned points in seven events.
The Dodgers are hoping that momentum continues and they can duplicate those efforts and bring some more swimmers there.
That success has continued to grow over the years and all of the little eyes in Fort Dodge are watching.
“It’s wonderful what these girls have been able to do for the swim community in Fort Dodge,” said Fort Dodge head coach Ashley Beaumont. “I’ve had parents from the FAST program text me and ask where the livestream is so they could have their kids watch the girls. Our girls have been a part of that. Julia gave lessons this summer to eight year olds and that is a great experience for her and the little kids.
“Joe Plane (director of FAST) told me in about seven years there was going to be a big group coming up and that’s great to see.”
Fort Dodge juniors Julia Eastman and Hailey Vogel will compete in four events each for the second straight year, as the Dodgers have qualified in six events.
Eastman will swim the 200 IM and the 100 backstroke, while Vogel will take part in the 50 and 100 freestyles.
The two classmates will also be a part of both the 200 medley and the 200 freestyle relays.
Senior Raegan Wooldridge, a student at Manson Northwest Webster, will be on the second leg of the 200 medley. Sophomore Gracie Harvey, in her first state appearance, will swim in the third spot.
St. Edmond junior Delaney O’Connor, makes her debut as part of the 200 freestyle and Kylen Lubensky, a freshman, will also swim in the 200 freestyle.
“Gracie and Kylen next year will have the chance to qualify as individuals,” Beaumont said. “They have been great on the relays and are great as part of the team aspect. Next year they will have the opportunity to get here as individuals.
“Delaney just started diving and loves it. She may be here next year as a diver.”
In her career Woodridge has been a part of five state events. She swam in an event her first two seasons and was part of the 13th place 200 medley a year ago.
“She (Wooldridge) is the most level headed kid and everyone looks up to her,” Beaumont said. “She works hard and none of these relays happen without her.”
Vogel enters with the 10th fastest time in the 50 freestyle (24.57) and 21st in the 100 freestyle (54.31).
Last season Vogel reached the A final of the 50, finishing eighth. She was 16th in the 100 breaststroke after placing 16th.
Vogel, along with Eastman were both part of the 13th place 200 medley relay and the 11th place 200 freestyle relay.
In her three seasons as a Dodger swimmer, Eastman has qualified in 11 events.
After taking part in two individual events last year (both 23rd places), she is back and hoping to reach the finals.
“With Julia, she didn’t make the finals last year, and that’s her goal to get in there and score some points,” Beaumont said. “Hailey enters the 50 free with the 10th best time and is looking to hopefully jump up and make the podium.”
Eastman has the 18th fastest time in the 100 backstroke (1:00.73) and 14th in the 200 IM with a time of 2:12.73.
As a freshman she competed on the 200 medley, 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays for the Dodgers.
The Dodger 200 medley quartet has the 17th quickest time in 1:52.95 and the 200 freestyle relay is 24th (1:44.12).
“Last weekend (regionals) was incredible with those relays,” Beaumont said. “With three experienced swimmers and some younger girls we swam well.
“The 200 freestyle is mostly new people and they’re melding well together.”
Preliminary swims for individual events will be on Friday, beginning at 11 a.m. Both Vogel and Eastman will compete.
Finals and relay events will be Saturday at noon. All events will be live streamed on the IGHSAU web page.
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