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OHS Girls Swimming Qualifies Two Relays For State

By Jason Van Arkel, November 03, 2019

For the first time in over a decade, the Ottumwa girls swim team will be represented at the state swim meet.

The OHS relay team of Leah Chelgren, Libby Moses, Mac Payne and Saige Knight swam well enough at Saturday’s regional meet at Southeast Polk to qualify for state in both the 200-yard medley relay and the 200-yard freestyle relay. The Bulldogs also barely missed out on qualifying in a third relay race, narrowly falling short of a qualifying time in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

The Ottumwa quartet swam one of their best races of the season in the 200 medley relay, posting a season-best time of 1:58.85 and finishing third in the regional race. In the 200 freestyle relay, the Bulldogs finished fourth in the regional race with a time of 1:45.03.

Still, the OHS swimmers didn’t know as they climbed out of the pool whether or not they had done enough. In order to qualify, Ottumwa had to post one of the best 32 times in each race, among the teams competing at all six regional sites. After an anxious wait, the IGHSAU posted the official state qualifier list, confirming that Ottumwa had finally broken its long drought.

Chelgren, Moses, Payne and Knight swim in the state meet on Saturday, November 9th at the Marshalltown YMCA/YWCA. The meet begins at noon.