By Mike Condon, Correspondent
CEDAR RAPIDS – Chris Cruise said before Saturday’s boys’ district swim meet that one of the team’s lesser-known swimmers had to come to the front for Cedar Rapids Washington to continue one of the most amazing win streaks in Iowa high school history.
Senior sprinter Scott Allison was that guy.
Allison finished well above his seed times in both the 50 and 100-freestyles and had solid swims in his two relay events as the Warriors outdistanced Dubuque Senior to win their 49th consecutive district championship before a full house at the Cedar Rapids Jefferson pool.
The Warriors won six of the 11 events, scoring 298 points. Senior was second with 277.
Individual event times were not released to the media because meets scheduled Saturday for Southeast Polk and Des Moines Roosevelt were postponed due to weather conditions in the Des Moines area and the western part of the state. They will be held Monday afternoon.
Jefferson Athletics Director Scott Kibby said the Iowa High School Athletic Associated asked that times not be published because state qualifying is based on times and teams in the postponed districts could gain an advantage. By knowing the times of completed meets, teams would be able to move athletes around in events to gain a state berth.
With or without the release of times, one thing was obvious Saturday.
“We had a great overall team meet today,” Cruise said. “All the kids stepped up today and swam the way we needed them to.”
As expected, Warrior standouts Morgan Barnes and Ian Ford were solid, each winning a pair of individual events. Ford was also on the winning 200-yard medley relay.
But it was the effort of Allison that had the Warrior coaching staff excited. He opened the meet with a strong anchor leg for the winning 200 medley, followed up by the surprise of the meet. He took second behind Dubuque Senior’s Josh Gill in the 50 freestyle, coming out of a slower heat.
“Scott had a great, great swim in both of his individual events,” Cruise said. “He was certainly one of the big reasons we were successful today.”
Allison came up with key swims in last year’s district win. As a senior, he is aware of the Warrior district tradition and didn’t want to be part of the team to let the streak end.
“It was a big surprise today coming in and taking second out of a slower heat,” Allison said “It’s terrifying to think you might be part of the team that has the streak end. It’s always out there but we find a way to come out on top.”
Senior was the only other team to win an event. Gill was named the district’s outstanding swimmer.
Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Shawn Thomsen was named the district coach of the year.
At C.R. Jefferson
Team standings: 1. C.R. Washington 298, 2. Dubuque Senior 277, 3. Iowa City West 139, 4. Iowa City High 123, 5. Dubuque Hempstead 121, 6. C.R. Kennedy 116, 7. C.R. Jefferson 102, 8. Decorah 66.
Event winners: 200-yard freestyle relay: C.R. Washington (Ian Ford, Jared Thorson, Sami Scheetz, Scott Allison); 200 free: Morgan Barnes (CRW); 200 IM: Ford (CRW); 50 free: Josh Gill (DS); 100 butterfly: Thorson (CRW); 100 free: Josh Gill (DS); 500 free: Barnes (CRW); 200 free relay: Dub. Senior (Gill, Buddy Franson, Alex Duster, Connor Huff); 100 backstroke: Ford (CRW); 100 breaststroke: Huff (DS); 400 free relay: Dubuque Senior (Gill, Mitch Schroeder, Duster, Huff).
District coach of the year: Shawn Thomsen, Cedar Rapids Kennedy
District athlete of the year: Gill, Dubuque Senior.
Note: Because of district meets being cancelled by weather Saturday at Des Moines Roosevelt and Southeast Polk, times were not released to the media. According to meet officials, releasing the information would give teams competing in make-up meets on Monday a possible advantage when it comes to state qualifying times.