Perry Bluejays swim team splashes the competition

: Cesar J ToledoSports
Perry Bluejays swim team splashes the competition

The Perry High School girls swim team splashed the competition on Tuesday August 25, when they defeated both the Des Moines Hoover and North High School teams earning them their first win of the season.

Bluejays coach, Jean Dowd who had her team practicing for weeks before the start of the year was impressed and overjoyed with her girls’ level of competition.

“We way surpassed our goal times for today in several areas,” she said. “I am very happy with how they performed.

The competition was scored as a triangular event, which means all three schools were competing against each other. As a team the Bluejays received a combined score of 41 points despite being only able to compete in 11 out of the 12 events.

One memorable race was the 200 yard medley race. The four competitors, which included co-captains senior Haileigh Kenyon, junior Haley Vaughn, along with sophomores Breanna Penenger, and Sadee Whitfield finished at an almost two second differential over the other two schools.

“I feel our relay is a whole lot better this year,” said Vaughn. “We mesh well.”

In the 500 yard freestyle, Penenger posted a personal best of 6:21:13 annihilating her previous time by almost seven minutes.

The team showed tremendous discipline and confidence coupled with an incredible display of sportsmanship. This is the start of the season they’ve been working towards.

“I think the team as a whole did really well,” coach Dowd said. “So early in the season to have these times is pretty exciting.”

Just as winning is part of any sporting event, losing a meet can aslo rear its ugly head. Two days after the Jays celebrated their first win, the team suffered a hard fought loss. The girls competed in a triple dual meet. This is when three teams participate but points are scored on a two-team matchup. Perry took on Des Moines Lincoln and Algona High School during the same race. Basically two games in one. One of the highlights for the Jays was in the girls 200-yard individual medley where junior Vaughn came in first place, posting a time of 2:34:59. Overall, even in defeat the team keeps a positive attitude and continues to work hard.

This year’s expectation are to use our increased numbers to be more competitive and continue to develop the potential of individual swimmers,” Dowd said. “The results of our first two meets have shown we have already made good progress toward those goals.”