Final turn

—Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Fort Dodge senior Cole Pearson will cap off his Fort Dodge career at the state swim meet on Saturday in Iowa City. Pearson will compete in the 50 and 100 freestyles.

IOWA CITY — Cole Pearson’s final high school meet will be on the state’s biggest stage.

Pearson will represent Fort Dodge one last time as he’ll showcase his talents in the 50 and 100 freestyle events.

“I wouldn’t want to end my high school career anywhere else but at the state meet,” Pearson said. “There’s just something about it that just lets you know you can compete with some of the best.”

The meet will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the University of Iowa’s Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Saturday.

The Dodger senior will wrap up his career with 12 state qualifications. He has competed in seven individual events and five relays.

“My time as a Dodger has been amazing,” Pearson said. “There’s so many good people that work with the Dodger programs to help open new doors for kids.

“There’s nothing more I could have asked for. It definitely is a bitter sweet moment because I will miss the school and my teammates, but starting a new chapter of swimming in college is something I dream about.”

At the district meet Pearson finished second in both the 50 and 100 free. He enters the 100 with the 10th best time (47.82) and 23rd time in the 50 (22.12).

“My goal heading into the state meet is to improve on the times I had from districts,” Pearson said. “Getting a couple of records would be awesome, but if they don’t happen I still want to be happy with my swims.”

Last season Pearson, a University of South Dakota recruit, saw action in the 100 and 200, just missing the medal stand with a time of 47.43 for ninth in the 100. He was 15th in the 200.

Pearson also competed in the 400 (10th) and 200 freestyle relays (20th) a year ago.

As a sophomore, he was part of the 200 free relay (7th place) and 400 free relay (9th place). He competed individually in the 200 freestyle (16th) and the 100 backstroke (19th).

In his freshman campaign, Pearson was on the 400 freestyle quartet (13th) and the 200 freestyle relay squad (17th).