Scheels Athlete of the Week: Versatility Makes Weigel a Key Cog on City High Swim Team

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Photo by Jeff Yoder

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

IOWA CITY – It seems as if every swimmer has a favorite event.

One race they prefer above the rest. A specialty, a forte, an expertise

City High sophomore standout Isaac Weigel is no exception.

The only difference for Weigel is that his event of choice can change almost daily.

“I like the 500 for sure but I like to swim the 100s in practice and 200s are pretty fun in meets,” Weigel explained. “There are moments where if I don’t swim an event then I will want to swim it and it will feel really nice to swim it then I won’t swim it again for a few months.”

That versatility is a big part of what has made Weigel so valuable for City High this season.

Weigel has the top time on the team in all eight individual races this season and won each of those races at least one time during the regular season.

“He is versatile enough he can swim every race and do it pretty well,” City High coach Zane Hugo said. “His goal this year is trying to make our top-10 performers in every event. I think he is just going to miss the 100 back right now because he’s not going to swim it again but he’s really close to it.”

The versatility of Weigel helped City High during the dual season especially without the services of defending state champion Forrest Frazier who has yet to make his high school debut this season.

While he enjoys the variety that comes with competing in every event Weigel does has his strength and it lies in the distance events.

Weigel enters the postseason that begins with the rescheduled Mississippi Valley Conference meet on Monday ranked fifth in the state in the 500 freestyle fourth in the 200 freestyle.

“In high school his best event is the 500, out of high school he is a miler, he just keeps going,” Hugo said. “He can back it up with some speed in the 50. He is actually a top-five 100 breaststroker in the state right now.  I think he has a good IM he just hasn’t really been tested in it this year.”

A two-event state qualifier as a freshman Weigel has taken things to another level this season.

He has dropped nearly three seconds off his best 200 freestyle time from last season and his top time of 1:45.75 ranks fourth in the state.

Weigel has the fifth fastest 500 freestyle time this season at 4:47.84 but less than a second separates the third, fourth and fifth top times.

“I’m not surprised because I see him swim all the time but it is unique to see somebody come in at their first dual meet swim faster than they finished the season last year, you don’t see that very often,” Hugo said. “He was faster in 500 in first dual meet and he is already faster in the 200 than he finished last year by 3 seconds.”

Weigel credits a growth spurt that added nearly six inches to his 5-foot-10 frame for part of his sophomore success.

That added length coupled with a year-round training schedule has helped push Weigel toward the top of the state rankings.

“I think a lot of it is a mentality you just have to continue doing it,” Weigel said. “If you take a break you are going to get used to taking a break.”

Weigel wants to use his versatility to earn top-10 status in every event at City High but he also has his sights set on a strong end to his sophomore season.

After finishing outside the top 10 in both events last season Weigel is eyeing a couple of podium finishes at the state meet next month.

“I definitely want to be top three in the 500 free at state and I’d like to be top five in the 200 free but I know that one is going to be difficult,” Weigel said. “I have my goals set on the sophomore record in the 100 free which is a 48.5.”

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