Head coach Joel Greathouse expects his Fort Dodge boys swim team to contend for another title at today's Rusty Garst Invitational.
Start time for the 22nd annual event is set for 12:30 p.m. at the FDSH pool.
Joining the host Dodgers in the field are Carroll, Decorah, Newton, Sioux City, Spencer and Waterloo West.
"There looks to be basically four teams in the running (for the championship)," Greathouse said. "Us, Waterloo West, Newton and Sioux City are all ranked within a couple of positions of each other in the power rankings, so it should be an exciting battle."
In its last outing on Tuesday, Fort Dodge dropped a 51-43 decision at CIC Northern Division rival Mason City. Against the Mohawks, junior Rob Leigh captured individual gold in both the 200 freestyle (1:53.37) and 500 freestyle (5:12.84). Freshman Cole Davis (200 individual medley, 2:15.13) and sophomore Nick Sanford (100 breaststroke, 1:11.71) also delivered victories for FDSH.
After earning consecutive Rusty Garst Invitational crowns for the first time in school history in both 2011 and 2012, the Dodgers settled for a runner-up effort here a year ago with 232 points. Fort Dodge's 200 medley relay is seeking its fourth straight Rusty Garst triumph. Sanford, senior Josh Lee and Leigh were each members of that quartet last winter.
"Rob Leigh and Josh Lee will be very competitive (this afternoon)," said Greathouse. "Our two freshmen, Mitch Emery and Cole Davis, can place anywhere, too. We just want to maintain our times, have strong relays and set ourselves up for districts here in a few weeks."
Newton sophomore Isaak Webb has turned in the seventh fastest time this season in the 200 individual medley (2:02.43). The Cardinals' 200 medley relay crew of Austin Bunker, Webb, Landon King and Jake Lensing also ranks ninth best in Iowa with a clocking of 1:43.52.
Waterloo West took home top honors here in 2013, narrowly edging out the Dodgers by three points.
Fort Dodge will also host districts on Feb. 8. Carroll, Sioux City and Spencer will all compete in that meet as well.
"We always kind of put an extra emphasis on our own invitational," Greathouse said. "We're looking to play off that and have a great meet."