Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Izaak Hajek made history by becoming the first Liberty High student to win a state championship when he won the 100 butterfly at the State boys swimming meet.
“Back when the school (started) last year my dad kind of proposed that idea to me, and I was ‘All right, let’s do it,’” Hajek said.
Hajek’s victory helped lead West High to a seventh-place finish Saturday at the University of Iowa Aquatic Center.
Hajek was also a member of West’s runner-up medley relay and placed fifth in the individual medley.
West High’s James Pinter placed second in two individual events and was part of the medley relay.
Ankeny won the meet over Waukee, and central Iowa schools took four of the the top five places. Linn-Mar was the first Mississippi Valley Conference finisher in sixth.
Hajek came into the meet gunning to break 50 seconds in the butterfly and did so with a time of 49.45 seconds, 1.12 seconds ahead of his seed time.
“Touching that first wall it felt fast, and I was, ‘All right we’ve got this,’” Hajek said.
“We’ve talked about him being consistent all year,” West coach Byron Butler said. “There wasn’t any doubt in my mind that he was going to have an amazing performance today. He just blew it out of the water. He had a lifetime best in everything; it was amazing.”
He also swam his season best in the IM (1:55.52), but the final heat was full of swimmers who wiped out their seed times by several seconds. Waukee’s Cameron Linder won in 1:51.11.
Pinter, a jack-of-all-trades like many of West High’s core, had a big debate about what events to swim at district and state.
“We narrowed it down to about five,” Pinter said. “I was really torn between the 100 back and the 200 freestyle. It was a really big decision.
“My dad and I sat at McDonald’s after conference, and we wrote the pros and cons on the back of a receipt. Eventually we came to the decision that the 100 back would be the better choice. But I laid in bed that night, I was just thinking about it and I really wanted to do that 2 freestyle.”
“We wanted to put him into two (individual) events,” Butler said. “It was between 200 free, 100 free, 100 back for him. Sorting it out and doing all these analytics, the 100 back looked like the better choice. He had his heart set on the 200 free.
“To get a second place coming off that medley (immediately before) was awesome.”
The 200 freestyle was a good choice as it turned out. Winner Trent Frandson of Ankeny shaved six seconds off his seed time, finishing in 1:37.75. Pinter was next at 1:41.23, his season-best time.
“I was really happy because I was able to lock in on that event and just work on my freestyle,” Pinter said.
In the 100 free he finished just behind Bettendorf star Charlie Bunn. Pinter’s season-best time was 45.74.
“I really wanted to go fast,” Pinter said. “That’s all I focused on was going fast and try to get my hand on the wall first. (Bunn) had a great day.”
West High’s medley relay team of Pinter, Tate Happel, Hajek and Michael Kimball finished in 1:34.75, three seconds better than its seed time. Dowling won in 1:32.67. The runner-up finish got the Trojans off to a great start.
“It was a big goal for us as a team to get first, but to get second was awesome,” Hajek said.
“That’s what Byron always says, right from the gate just punch them out,” Pinter said. “So we all try to hop in the water with that medley relay and go as fast as we can and get the lead early.”
The only real downer for West was a disqualification in the 200 freestyle relay when officials said one of the swimmers left a fraction of a second early.
It appeared West was fifth in that event and would have added 28 points, enough to finish sixth overall.
“We did awesome as a team all around,” Hajek said, refusing to worry about the one DQ.
“It’s disappointing, but I think our team is already looking ahead to next year,” Butler said. “With Val (Trussov) the only senior, we’ve got a lot coming back. Jordan Christensen should be back from his injury next year. We’re excited about it.”
Team scores – 1. Ankeny 226; 2. Waukee 210; 3. Bettendorf 205.5; 4. Dowling 195; 5. West Des Moines Valley 164; 6. Linn-Mar 123; 7. West High 112; 8. Cedar Falls 107; 9. Dubuque Hempstead 99; 10. Cedar Rapids Washington and Sioux City Metro 87; 12. Pleasant Valley 81; 13. Ames 59; 14. City High 49; 15. Marshalltown 47; 16. Mason City 40; 17. Dubuque Senior 39; 18. Indianola 34; 19. Keokuk 29; 20. Council Bluffs Lewis Central and Carroll 23; 22. Decorah 18; 23. Davenport Central 17; 24. Muscatine and Ottumwa 16; 26. Burlington 14; 27. Williamsburg 9; 28. Des Moines Roosevelt 27.5; 29. Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Newton/NCMP, Fort Dodge 6; 32. Southeast Polk 5; 33. DM Lincoln 4’ 34. Spencer and Johnston 3.
200 Medley Relay – 1. Dowling (Nick Chase, Jerry Xu, Gage Agnew, John Culver) 1:32.67; 2. Iowa City West (James Pinter, Tate Happel, Izaak Hajek, Michael Kimball) 1;34.75.
200 Freestyle – 1. Trent Frandson (Ank) 1:37.75; 2. James Pinter (ICW) 1:41.23; 5. Isaac Weigel (ICH) 1:43.38.
200 Individual Medley – 1. Cameron Linder (Wau) 1:51.11; 2. Dylan Moffatt (CF) 1:52.14; 5. Izaak Hajek (ICW) 1:55.52.
50 Freestyle – 1. Charlie Bunn (Bet) 20.42; 2. Kevin Burke (PV) 20.61; 15. Michael Kimball (ICW) 21.74.
100 Butterfly – 1. Izaak Hajek (ICW) 49.45; 2. Kyle Hopewell (DavC) 51.07; 15. Val Trussov (ICW) 53.95.
100 Freestyle – 1. Charlie Bunn (Bet) 44.94; 2. James Pinter (ICW) 45.74.
500 Freestyle – 1. Trent Frandson (Ank) 4:23.46; 2. Dylan Moffatt (CF) 4:31.97; 4. Isaac Weigel (ICC) 4:38.40.
200 Freestyle Relay – 1. Bettendorf (Andrew Ottavianelli, Luke Nickles, Sam Mitvalsky, Charlie Bunn) 1:23.56; 2. Ankeny (Max Martin, Adam Vaske, Jae Swanepoel, Trent Frandson) 1;23.68.
100 Backstroke – 1. Nick Chase (Dow) 50.10; 2. Kevin Burke (PV) 50.41.
100 Breaststroke – 1. Forrest Frazier (ICC) 55.17; 2. Dylan Jones (Keo) 57.94.
400 Freestyle Relay – 1. Bettendorf (Andrew Ottavianelli, Luke Nickles, Alex Stone, Charlie Bunn) 3:05.10; 2. Ankeny (Trent Frandson, Adam Vaske, Jae Swanepoel, Max Martin) 3:06.13; 14. Iowa City West (Kirk Brotherton, Nikolas Sung, Izaak Hajek, Val Trussov) 3:18.44.