NCMP's Dydell, Jensen swim PRs at state meet

Troy Hyde, Newton Daily News, Iowa
·4 min read

Feb. 14—MARION — NCMP senior Jaden Dydell wanted nothing more than to climb on the medal stand in his final state swim meet.

But after swimming his best time ever in the 100-yard breaststroke, he knew there wasn't too much else he could have done.

Dydell came into the Iowa High School Boys State Swimming Championships as the ninth seed in the event and finished ninth. The top eight finishers in each event earned a place on the podium.

"It's not all about me. I gave it my best. That's all I can do," Dydell said. "Ten years from, no one is going to remember who won state. God has a plan for me. My swimming career is not over."

NCMP senior Jaden Dydell starts one of his two races at the state swim meet on Saturday at the Linn-Mar Aquatic Center. Dydell finished ninth in the 100-yard breaststroke. (Troy Hyde/Newton News)

Dydell was joined at the state swim meet by lifelong friend and teammate Henry Jensen for the first time in their careers. Both of the Cardinal swimmers turned in career-best performances at Linn-Mar Aquatic Center on Saturday.

The state meet was moved to Linn-Mar High School from the University of Iowa campus because of COVID-19.

Dydell's ninth-place time in the 100 breaststroke was clocked in a personal-best 1 minute, 0.23 seconds. The eighth-place finisher, Vinton-Shellsburg's Carter Kirtz, hit the wall in 59.64.

Sioux City Metro's Kohen Rankin won the 100 breaststroke in 55.03.

NCMP head coach Steve Jones said Dydell swam exactly how the coaching staff wanted him to but just got a little tight on the fourth lap.

"He still swam his best time. He came in ninth and finished ninth. It's hard to be upset with that," Jones said. "To get ninth is tough, but it was his best time ever."

NCMP senior Henry Jensen swims in the 200-yard freestyle at the state swim meet on Saturday in Marion. Jensen was 24th in the event but swam a personal-best time. (Troy Hyde/Newton News)

Jensen came into the state meet with the 28th best qualifying time in the 200 freestyle. But after a personal-best time of 1:49.06, Jensen moved up to 24th.

He was first in his heat and was faster than another swimmer in a different heat.

"He was great. He led his heat the whole way," Jones said. "I was really proud of him. He always goes out fast, but he was able to keep it up. It was a great finish."

He cut more than a full second off his previous best time. And he celebrated with a smack of the water after seeing his time on the scoreboard.

"The experience was awesome and the time was awesome. I was a little nervous, but I felt amazing in the water," Jensen said. "It was my only swim today so I went as hard as I could."

Jensen said besides setting a new personal-best time, his other goal was to swim faster than Decorah's Drew Chamberlain, a conference rival who has gotten the best of him in his career.

In their final meeting against each other, Jensen was three spots better and 0.80 seconds faster.

"He usually beats me, but I beat him at conference last year and he got really mad," Jensen said. "I liked seeing that so I wanted to beat him again."

Ankeny's Trent Frandson won the 200 freestyle in 1:36.46. He also won the 500 freestyle and swam the lead-off leg of the Hawks' winning 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams.

NCMP senior Henry Jensen reacts to recording a personal-best time in the 200-yard freestyle at the state swim meet on Saturday at the Linn-Mar Aquatic Center. (Troy Hyde/Newton News)

Dydell also competed in the 50 freestyle. He came in with the 14th best time but finished 23rd in 22.24 seconds. He was seventh in his heat.

Dydell's state qualifying time was 21.9, which would have been fast enough for 18th at state.

"It wasn't my day in the 50 free. I gave it my best. I am proud of my swims today," said Dydell, who plans to swim in college but does not yet have a destination. "I'm happy with how far I came. I wasn't the best swimmer when I started out."

Bettendorf's Alex Stone won the 50 freestyle with a time of 20.67. The final medal-winning time was clocked at 21.45.

Waukee won the state title with 268.5 points. Ankeny (238.5) was the runner-up and defending state champion Iowa City West (208.5) finished third.

Ankeny finished as the runner-up for the second straight year. Waukee was third last year.