The stretch run

Third-place Fort Dodge gears up for postseason

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Elora Fierke of Fort Dodge competes on Thursday in the 200 individual medley at the CIML Iowa Conference meet in the Dodger pool. For more photos, please call

With West Des Moines Dowling in the pool on Thursday night for the CIML Iowa Conference meet, Fort Dodge spent more time preparing for the long haul.

The Maroons, who are ranked second in the power rankings, won 11 of the 12 events and accumulated 548 points to win the team championship. The Dragons finished with 415 points to close in second place. The Dodgers were third with 343.

“We came into this looking to work on our second events,” said FDSH head coach Ashley Beaumont. “We know what are top events are, so we wanted to establish more events to try to get ready for regionals (next Saturday in Ankeny).

“We want to be able to advance as many teams as we can from regionals into the state meet.”

Fort Dodge senior and University of Iowa recruit Taylor Hartley turned in her best performance of the season in the 500 freestyle (5:17), finishing as the event’s runner-up.

Sophomore Elora Fierke also grabbed a second-place showing in the 100 breaststroke. Fierke crossed in 1:11.59, just behind Johnston’s lone winner, Kendall Hostetler (1:10.87).

“That was Taylor’s best time of the season,” Beaumont said. “Elora had a great time in the 100 breaststroke, and Luanne and Madigan swam well.”

The Dodgers’ 200 freestyle relay team of Hartley, Grace Hartley, Morgan Border and Madigan Peimann was second (1:46.88) to West Des Moines Dowling (1:39.09).

Fort Dodge’s quartet of Luanne Xiao, Fierke, Rylie Steinkamp and Border were third (1:58.01) in the 200 medley relay.

Xiao, Peimann, Grace Hartley and Taylor Hartley were third (3:50.54) in the 400 freestyle relay.

Grace Hartley (500 freestyle) and Xiao (100 backstroke) finished fourth.

Finishing fifth for the Dodgers were Taylor Hartley (200 freestyle), Fierke (200 IM), Peimann (500 freestyle and 100 backstroke).

Border was sixth in the 50 freestyle.