MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa — They earned a half-dozen trips to the podium, established four varsity school records and collected one giant trophy.

Bettendorf did not prevail in any of the 11 events Saturday at the Iowa girls state swimming meet, but the Bulldogs brought home a piece of hardware for the first time since 2009.

Powered by three third-place finishes, a pair of fifths and a sixth, the Bulldogs recorded 189 points to conclude third at the Marshalltown YMCA.

“I’ve counted the days,” Bettendorf coach Mike Ahrens said of the program’s last trophy. “It is great for these girls, and we’re pretty young. I think it is going to be the start of a good run for us.”

Ames won all three relays and went 1-2-3 in the 100 backstroke to amass 341 points — 144 more than runner-up Johnston — to capture its sixth championship in seven seasons. Waukee (170 points) and Muscatine (131) joined Bettendorf in the top five.

Muscatine leaned on its senior firepower of Sarah Schemmel, who defended her state title in the 50 freestyle, and Taylor Beadle to accumulate points. Bettendorf shined with its depth.

The Bulldogs set school marks in the 200 medley (3rd place, 1 minute, 46.81 seconds) and 400 freestyle (3rd, 3:33.07) relays along with Sage Ohlenshelen in the 100 breaststroke (3rd, 1:05.13) and Emily Van De Wiele’s 52.33 split to open the 400 free relay.

Bettendorf scored three top-10 finishes in the 200 IM and had three among the top 12 in the breaststroke.

“It feels pretty good to show what we accomplished at state,” Van De Wiele said. “Having the trophy shows the whole school we do have a good swim team.

“For years to come, we’re going to see that trophy and want to get better.”

Ohlenshelen thrived in her final high school meet. She shaved almost two seconds off her state-qualifying time in the 100 breast and posted a 28.53 breaststroke split in the medley.

“After my 50 breaststroke, I felt like there might be something left in there for the 100 breast,” she said, “and there was.

“This is an amazing feeling. Everything coach has done for me really helped me become who I am as a swimmer. I owe everything to coach.”

Ahrens, in return, said Ohlenshelen becomes a role model for future Bettendorf swimmers.

“Her last swim as a Bulldog was a varsity record,” he said. “She literally left it all in the pool. She is a name I can bring up and talk about every year with our kids.”

Van De Wiele, Megan Schade and Hena Hassan joined Ohlsenhelen on the third place medley. The bronze 400 free relay was comprised of Van De Wiele, Schade, Arianna Ottavianelli and Megan Greenley.

Van De Wiele also was fifth in the 200 free (1:50.36) as was Ottavianelli in the 200 IM (2:09.16).

Bettendorf graduates four senior state qualifiers in Ohlsenhelen, Schade, Hassan and Anna Wall. It has a good nucleus of freshmen and sophomores returning.

“We’re going to have a lot of work to do since we’re losing almost half of our varsity,” sophomore Alexis Beine said, “but it will make us try even harder to come back and do better next year.”

Schemmel, a Durant student, repeated in the 50 freestyle in a team-record 23.11 seconds. It was the third fastest mark all-time in Iowa.

“I smiled so big (after seeing the time),” she said. “I was literally smiling for five minutes.”

With Lanes 1 and 8 not used for the meet due to a malfunction with one of the starting blocks, Schemmel had nobody to her left in the 50 free.

“I’m not one of those people that freaks out if I’m on the outside,” she said. “It is less pressure.”

Later in the 100 free, the Iowa recruit finished third in 50.39 seconds. In the third of four heats, Schemmel set a state record with that time. It lasted for less than a minute before Lewis Central’s MyKenzie Leehy (50.29) and Ames’ Amy Feddersen (50.34) broke it.

Beadle, who elected to swim just club for the Iowa Flyers the past two seasons, had a runner-up finish in the 200 free (1:50.36) and was fourth in the 500 free (5:04.19).

“I’m not an emotional person but I almost cried after that (200),” the Missouri State recruit said. “That was my best time in two years.”

Tori Roth and Alexis Hagen joined Schemmel and Beadle for fourth-place finishes in the 200 free (1:37.58) and 400 free relays (3:33.41).

The quartet combined for all 131 of Muscatine’s points and set a half-dozen team records.

“We definitely surpassed our own expectations,” Schemmel said. “I don’t think we thought we would place this well.”

Pleasant Valley, buoyed by Claire Park’s diving title Friday, was 13th with 85 points.

Junior Aviana Zahara was fourth in the 100 backstroke (57.53) and teamed with Emily Goodman, Perapa Chotiprasidhi and Lauren Groenenboom for fourth in the 200 medley relay (3:42.56).

Goodman was eighth and Davenport Central’s Abbey Klostermann ninth in the 100 breaststroke.


Prep sports editor, with emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 17 years, the last five at the Quad-City Times.