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WIN COLUMN

Dodgers pick up close home victory over Southeast Polk

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Rylie Steinkamp of Fort Dodge competes in the 100 butterfly on Tuesday night in the Dodger pool. For more photos, please visit CU.messengernews.net

Ashley Beaumont wants to see one thing out of her Fort Dodge girls swim program each and every time they jump into the pool this season.

“Treat every meet like it could be the last one,” Beaumont said. “I tell them, ‘don’t miss out on an opportunity, go for it every time and leave it all in the pool.’ They have been doing that.”

Behind eight event victories, the 25th-ranked Dodgers were able to score a dual meet win over No. 16 Southeast Polk here Tuesday night, 89-81.

Seniors Grace Hartley and Rylie Steinkamp were each double-event winners, with sophomore Eileen Fierke also claiming two golds. Fort Dodge added wins in both the 200 medley and 400 free relays to secure the victory.

“With all the uncertainty of everything, I just want them to do anything and everything they can to compete,” Beaumont said. “We are seeing improved times and the girls keep getting better. They are really pushing themselves and that is what we want right now.”

Hartley was first in both the 200 individual medley and 100 freestyle, with Steinkamp going back-to-back with top finishes in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly.

Fierke won the 500 freestyle and 100 backstroke.

The Dodgers opened the evening with a nine-second victory in the 200 medley relay behind Fierke, freshman Raegan Wooldridge, Steinkamp and Hartley. They closed it with Fierke, Steinkamp, sophomore Makenna Kammerer and Hartley winning the 400 free relay in almost 18 seconds.

“We have a bigger team this than in the past, but a lot of that depth comes from our young swimmers, who are still learning,” Beaumont said. “It’s good for the future. I’m really excited to see where we are at down the road.

“For now, they are learning to compete and are really surprising me as the season progresses.”

Steinkamp posted her best time in the 50 free, coming home first in 26.85. She also had a best in the 100 butterfly in 1:05.73, finishing ahead of Southeast Polk’s Libby Douglas in both events.

“Rylie’s 50 was just amazing,” Beaumont said. “She really gave us a tremendous effort.”

Hartley captured the 200 I.M. by nearly seven seconds and swam her fastest time in the 100 free in 58.03. That included a 27.6 opening 50.

Fierke’s time of 5:32.26 was her best in the 500 and over 17 seconds ahead of runner-up Ava Roche. She went 1:05.50 in the 100 backstroke for her season-best including a 31.5 split.

“We’re still working on some little things because a lot of the girls didn’t get to swim as much as they would have over the summer due to the virus,” Beaumont said. “But it’s coming back to them and I know they will be ready when we need it the most.”

The 400 free relay also posted its best time of the season in 3:59.57.

Earning runner-up finishes were Kammerer in the 200 free and Wooldridge in the 100 breaststroke, along with the 200 free relay of Claire Kienzle, Wooldridge, Becca Kenville and Kammerer.

Kienzle (200 free and 100 breaststroke) and Kammerer (500 free) scored third as did the 200 free relay of Jalen Adams, Riley Binder, Tristin Doster and Maria Elizondo.

Olivia Andersen, Elizondo, Doster, Emma Johnston and Dylan Saathoff were all junior varsity winners. The Dodgers downed the Rams in the JV dual, 83-24.

Fort Dodge returns to action on Thursday when they host Carroll and Algona for Senior Night.

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