Home Pool Advantage Helps Weigel Log Two Runner-up Finishes at Little Hawk Invite

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Photo by Jeff Yoder

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

IOWA CITY – Home field advantage is considered a big advantage in football or baseball.

In basketball playing on a home court is considered even more advantageous.

So, what about swimming? Does such a thing as home pool advantage exist?

City High sophomore Isaac Weigel certainly thinks so.

“Most definitely it’s a thing that matters,” Weigel said of swimming at home. “It certainly has its advantages.”

On Saturday Weigel used the home pool advantage to put together a strong performance at the Little Hawk Invite at Mercer Park Aquatic Center.

Weigel notched a pair of runner-up finishes in his lone home tournament of the season finishing second to Ankeny sophomore Trent Frandson in both the 200 and 500 freestyle.

“I like swimming at this meet because I know the pool,” Weigel said. “It’s nice to be here rather than at a pool where I might not like the walls for the starts too much. I know this pool so normally I have a better feel for it and normally my swims are better here.”

Weigel finished a little more than two seconds off the pace of Frandson in the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:45.75.

He followed that up with a runner-up finish to Frandson in the 500 in 4:47.84.

Frandson won the 500 freestyle in 4:41.15 and owns the fastest time in the state in the event this season at  4:39.48.

The 4:47.84 clocked by Weigel on Saturday ranks fifth in the state this season.

“He is already going faster right now than he ever has in high school before so he’s on the right track,” City High coach Zane Hugo said of Weigel. “He’s just off his fastest times of all-time so he just needs to keep making progress.”

For Weigel the comfort of competing in a familiar setting on Saturday was important against a strong field that featured three teams that finished in the top eight at the state meet a year ago.

“Everywhere you go is a little different, I’m sure it’s like playing on your own basketball court or football field,” Hugo said of the home pool advantage. “It’s the same here every pool is designed a little differently the way the touch pads are or the walls. Here they know how to use that to their advantage. This is a good high school pool to compete in but I think they are more confident here because they practice here every day.”

Weigel also helped the City High 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams to seventh place finishes as the Little Hawks placed seventh as a team with 114 points.

Ankeny won the team title with 375 points followed by Pleasant Valley with 367, West High with 340 and Bettendorf with 291.

Bettendorf and Ankeny finished tied for third at the state meet last season.

City High competed without a pair of regulars in the lineup on Saturday in two-event state champion Forrest Frazier and Louis Stephan.

“We are bringing in those higher level teams in the state so we can see that competition before districts or state,” Hugo said. “There a lot of good teams here and then we also want to bring in teams that want to step it up and see that competition and right now without Forrest or Louis swimming we are more at that level.”

West High got a pair of individual titles from junior standout Izaak Hajek on its way to its third-place finish.

Hajek won the 200 IM in 1:59.1 and added a title in the 100 butterfly in a state-leading 51.75.

He also was a part of the Trojan’s 200 medley relay team that was runner-up to Pleasant Valley in a time of 1:39.21 and swam on the West High 200 freestyle relay team that was third.  

“It was a good day,” West High coach Byron Butler said. “The thing that I was happiest with is that they got to be exposed to these Ankeny teams and the Bettendorf sprinters and Pleasant Valley’s depth and I think it was a big-time reality check for some of my new guys who hadn’t been exposed yet to that.”

West High junior James Pinter was runner-up in the 100 freestyle and added a third-place finish in the 200 freestyle.

Senior Val Trussov was fourth in the 100 breaststroke and fifth in the 100 butterfly for the Trojans.

“Our senior captain Val Trussov was talking to them after the meet and saying ‘you see what we have to do now’,” Butler said of the third-place team finish. “Those two teams are at a different level than us so we have to work twice as hard so it’s been good having him around for that.” 

Little Hawk Invite

Team scores – 1. Ankeny 375; 2. Pleasant Valley 367; 3. West High 340; 4. Bettendorf 291; 5. Cedar Falls 246; 6. Ottumwa 130; 7. City High 114; 8. Oskaloosa 85

200 Medley Relay – 1. Pleasant Valley 1:37.86; 2. West High (James Pinter, Val Trussov, Izaak Hajek, Kirk Brotherton) 1:39.21; 7. City High (Brennan Hill, Isaac Weigel, Patrick Bui, Chase Loftus) 1:51.41

200 Freestyle – 1. Trent Frandson (ANK) 1:43.29; 2. Isaac Weigel (ICH) 1:45.75; 3. James Pinter (ICW) 1:46.46; 8. Nikolas Sung (ICW) 1:54.11; 9. Tate Happel (ICW) 1:54.87; 13. Joe Kueter (ICH) 1:58.55

200 IM – 1. Izaak Hajek (ICW) 1:59.1; 11. Luke Nichols (ICW) 2:13.71; 15. Gavi Keeney (ICW) 2:16.32

50 Freestyle – 1. Kevin Burke (PV) 21.36; 8. Michael Kimball (ICW) 23.41; 11. Ed Dowling (ICW) 23.67; 12. Kirk Brotherton (ICW) 23.71

100 Butterfly – 1. Izaak Hajek (ICW) 51.75; 5. Val Trussov (ICW) 55.0; 12. Luke Nichols (ICW) 59.88; 16. Quinn Kopelman (ICH) 1:03.12

100 Freestyle – 1. Charlie Bunn (BET) 47.54; 2. James Pinter (ICW) 48.39; 13. Michael Kimball (ICW) 51.94

500 Freestyle – 1. Trent Frandson (ANK) 4:41.15; 2. Isaac Weigel (ICH) 4:47.84; 8. Nikolas Sung (ICW) 5:12.39; 9. Andy Luo (ICW) 5:13.27; 11. Aiden Petersen (ICW) 5:21.97; 12. Joe Kueter (ICH) 5:23.6

200 Freestyle Relay – 1. Ankeny 1:28.22; 3. West High (Michael Kimball, Izaak Hajek, Val Trussov, James Pinter) 1:29.92; 8. City High (Quinn Kopelman, Bigard Gaber, Patrick Bui, Joe Kueter) 1:42.84

100 Backstroke – 1. Kevin Burke (PV) 52.4; 6. Parth Patel (ICW) 58.39; 8. Andy Luo (ICW) 59.08; 10. Boyd Skelley (ICW) 59.51

100 Breaststroke – 1. Jacob McCredie (PV) 1:01.86; 4. Val Trussov (ICW) 1:05.56; 5. Gavin Keeney (ICW) 1:05.71; 7. Tate Happel (ICW) 1:06.88

400 Freestyle Relay – 1. Ankeny 3:15.09; 4. West High (Nikolas Sung, Michael Kimball, Andy Luo, Tate Happel) 3:29.87; 7. City High (Isaac Weigel, Joe Kueter, Brennan Hill, Chase Loftus) 3:34.19