Perry swimming builds momentum, volleyball sees new conference action

Sean Cordy, Correspondent
Special to the Chief

The Bluejays and Jayettes continued to find positive growth throughout their seasons this past week. (Note: Events covered Sept. 8-14)

Football (0-3)

The Bluejays made some slight alterations to their game plan but fell 54-0 hosting Clarke (3-0) this past week. While not a complete shift in strategy, Perry's offensive focus looked toward the run game as the team carried the ball 32 times for 86 yards, by far the team's most positive movement this season. Christian Garrido led the way with 33 yards on four carries while Cayden Widen and Jeremiah Cregeen tacked on 21 and 27 yards respectively.

Jeremiah Cregeen runs the ball for Perry on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, at Dewey Field in Perry.

Previously, the team had 31 and -21 yards rushing in the first two games. Also marking a positive direction, this marked the first game without a turnover.

Perry next squares off with Des Moines Hoover (0-3) on the road. Returning to the field after playing just one game last year, the Huskies have had their share of growing pains. They're led by senior QB Dvonta White, who has completed 10-of-21 passes for 92 yards and one score. He's also lost 28 yards from sacks, opening a window for Perry's pass rush to send pressure his way.

Perry's Oscar Gutierrez chases down Clarke's Jack Cooley on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, at Dewey Field in Perry.

Cross Country

Perry's girls team walked away third of six teams, and fifth of five boys teams at Saturday's meet hosted by Greene County.

At the top of the order, Jaylene Karolus (22:25, 4th) was the Jayettes' top finisher, falling behind two ranked runners. Julie Maylum (25:12, 14th) was the next name to be crossed off for Perry. Looking at the future, Lily Myers (14:31, 2nd) was the middle school silver medalist in the two-mile.

The Bluejays once again saw the Andemichael's bring in the team's top times as Fithwai (19:31, 8th) and Yonas (20:03, 14th) crossed the finish line within 40 seconds of each other. Gannon Meis (21:01, 23rd) was the next to pass through.

Yonas Andemichael races to the finish line on Thursday, Sept. 2 at Grant Woods Park in Madrid

Volleyball

Life in the Heart of Iowa officially got underway Tuesday as the Jayettes traveled to Saydel (1-13) where the Eagles won their first match of the season. Before Tuesday, Perry had not allowed a single set to the Eagles in 24 non-conference matches since 2008.

Saydel broke that streak right out of the gate with a 25-22 win. From there, the two butted heads the rest of the night with alternating wins until the Eagles won 15-10 in the fifth round to clinch the evening.

Getting in a full night's worth of action, Taylor Atwell was kept busy setting up 23 kills, primarily for Callie Steva and Kimberly Castillo who notched eight apiece. Addison Huntington also laid all out on the backline, leading the team with 27 digs. 

Swimming

The Perry girls swim team poses for a photo at the victory bell following a win over Algona on Tuesday, Sept. 14.

Having already beaten Algona twice this season, the Jayettes experimented with the roster Tuesday in the McCreary Center. That still resulted in a 90-51 victory with five personal best times across the team.

Dropping nearly 1.5 seconds from her previous PR, Lilly Riley held onto first place in the 500 yard free in 6 minutes 17.78 seconds. Her 29.71 seconds also shaved 0.69 seconds in the 50 free, placing second behind Zoe Hibbert's 27.95 second finish.

Perry's Lilly Riley swims a personal best in the 500 free on Thursday, Sept. 9 during a meet against Indianola.

The two combined forces along with Jenna Nelson and Emily Dowd for a 2:02.01 first-place finish and new PR in the 200 free relay.

On her own, Nelson's 1:05.90 time in the 100 free marked a 0.53 second improvement, trying to keep pace with Quin Mahler-Moreno's 57.52 seconds. Moreno also took first in the 100 breaststroke (1:13.22).

Perry's Quin Mahler-Moreno swims the breaststroke during a meet against Indianola on Thursday, Sept. 9.

Also winning multiple events, Sophia McDevitt claimed titles in the 100 backstroke (1:07.50) and 200 free (2:09.89) as well as the 200 free and 400 free relays with Mahler-Moreno, Hibbert and Jaylene Karolus.

They're next in the pool on Sept. 23 in Fort Dodge.

Softball

Along with earning her third-straight all-conference honor last month, Perry's shortstop Lydia Olejniczak was selected to the third-team Class 4A all-state roster. Previously selected in 2019, she joins Emma Olejniczak (2016-17) and Johanna Diw (2017-18) as the only Jayettes to be selected multiple times since 2000. With two more years of eligibility, the rising junior has the chance to tie Katie Shimon's four selections from 1996-99.

Perry's Lydia Olejniczak in action on Monday, May 24 during the season opener against Carlisle.