Fort Dodge head girls swim coach Rosie Ellendson saw something Tuesday night that gave her hope for a victory.
While the Dodgers didn't pull out the win, they did walk away from a dual with Johnson with several personal-best times.
The Dragons prevailed, 107-77, taking all but one of the races in the Dodger pool.
Messenger photo by Britt Kudla
Shay Saathoff of Fort Dodge competes against Johnston on Tuesday in the Dodger pool. For more photos, visit CU?at www.messengernews.net
Fort Dodge's Gretta Leigh captured the 100 freestyle in a time of 1:04.45, securing the lone race win on the evening for the home squad.
"After diving, I told the girls we had a chance to pull this one out - and they knew it too," Ellendson said. "We didn't get that 'W,' but the fact that it meant so much to these girls shows me how willing and determined they are to get better."
Ashley Graham was second in the 200 (2:27.34) and 500 (6:24.31) freestyle races, while Elli Russell also picked up runner-up finishes in the 50 free (28.41) and 100 back (1:15.11) for FDSH.
"Gretta did a great job. And Ashley just had an incredible night," Ellendson said. "Elli did really well also.
"I feel we have the right kind of attitude, we just need time in the pool and in the offseason to get better."
Ellendson credits the creation of a youth program for already-improving times for her squad, adding, "the ACAC is really going to provide us with quality swimmers going forward."
Catilyn Goebel was second in the 100 fly (1:17.01), while the Dodgers earned silvers in the 200 medley relay (Russell, Lauren Underwood, Goebel, Lehr Thorson), 200 free relay (Thorson, Russell, Leigh, Underwood) and 400 free relay (Goebel, Alyssa Nehring, Jenifer Bentz, Leigh).
"Our seniors just do an outstanding job of leading our team," Ellendson said. "We have a great group and they have taken the underclassmen under their wings."
Allison Boswell was third in the 200 free and Nehring placed third in the 100 back. Erika Farr won the 100 breaststroke junior varsity race.
Next action for Fort Dodge is next Tuesday when it hosts Marshalltown. Diving begins at 5:30 p.m.