Thursday night's third annual Gary Winkler Dodger Invitational served as a perfect measuring stick for the Fort Dodge girls swim team.
Competing in their own pool, the Dodgers settled for fifth place in the team race with 181 points. Sioux City Metro (374) easily outdistanced runner-up and defending meet champion Waterloo West (219).
"We survived the technical difficulties (the new FDSH scoreboard failed to work last evening)," Dodger head coach Rosie Ellendson said. "I really appreciate the other coaches and (FDSH Principal) Mr. (Dave) Keane for all working together and bearing with us."
Messenger photo by Dale Wooten
Nicole Cook dives for Fort Dodge in the Gary Winkler Invitational Thursday in the Dodger pool. For more photos, visit CU?at www.messengernews.net
Angie Ellendson, a senior, sparked the Dodgers with a third-place individual effort in the 100 freestyle (1:00.53). She also secured fourth in the 200 freestyle (2:17.86).
Other fourth-place Fort Dodge showings came from senior Nicole Cook (1M diving, 125.15 points) and the 200 medley relay (sophomore Elli Russell, junior Shay Saathoff, Ellendson and junior Alyssa Nehring, 2:08.54).
"I was encouraged with all of our people that made the podium (nine different Dodger events placed in the Top-6)," said Ellendson. "We had a lot of younger kids set personal bests (Thursday)."
In addition, Ariel Hurst (1M diving, 103.45), the 200 freestyle relay (Saathoff, Katy Bocken, Carrie Gerdes and Zoey Miller, 2:07.70) and the 400 freestyle relay (Ellendson, Bocken, Miller and Russell, 4:27.03) all checked in fifth for Fort Dodge, while Ashley Graham (500 freestyle, 6:32.29) and Saathoff (100 breaststroke, 1:22.23) both finished sixth.
"We're just going to keep trying to improve every time out," Ellendson said. "Our goal is to get as many events to state as possible."
Lindsey Stalheim and Alizah Wink were each double individual champions for Sioux City Metro. Stalheim captured top honors in the 200 freestyle (2:06.44) and 100 backstroke (1:02.46), while Wink took home gold in the 50 freestyle (25.70) and 500 freestyle (5:16.74).
The Dodgers return to the water Tuesday at Ankeny.