Pearson closes Dodger swim career at state

Marshalltown Times-Republican photo by Thorn Compton/for The Messenger Cole Pearson of Fort Dodge swims during the state meet on Saturday in Iowa City.

IOWA CITY — Cole Pearson finished his high school swim career with Fort Dodge here Saturday at the state meet.

Pearson, who has signed to continue competing at the University of South Dakota in the fall, was the lone qualifier for the Dodgers for the championships, which took place at the University of Iowa’s Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.

In the 100 freestyle, Pearson placed 11th overall with a time of 47.44. He was 18th earlier in the day in the 50 freestyle (21.91).

“I went out and did what I wanted to do, and that was drop time,” Pearson said. “I am super happy with how my season ended. There have been so many great memories with the swim team, and I will miss every moment.

“I know that the swim team will keep working and keep getting better and better.”

Pearson finished his FDSH career as a 12-time state qualifier. As a junior, he was ninth in the 100 and was on the 10th-place finishing 400 free relay. He also swam the 200 free and 200 free relay at state that year.

During his sophomore season, Pearson competed in the 100 backstroke and 200 free, along with swimming legs of the 200 free relay and 400 free relay.

He was on the Dodger 400 free and 200 free relays at state as a ninth-grader.

Bettendorf’s Charlie Bunn won the 50 free in 20.95, earning automatic All-American honors. Pleasant Valley’s Kevin Burke was second, and West Des Moines Valley’s Jacob Keller placed third.

Pearson improved from his seed time in the 50, which was 22.12. He also climbed five spots from there to the finish.

Bunn doubled up with the 100 free crown, also earning automatic All-American honors with a 45.72. James Pinter of Iowa City West was second and William Rankin from Sioux City Metro third.

Pearson’s seed time for the 100 free was 47.82, as he went 22.59 in his first 50 and 24.85 in his second.

Ankeny finished as the team champion, with Waukee second and Bettendorf third.