Girls Swimming Floats to Top

Therefore it should come as no surprise that a group of Ames High students are currently involved in the creation of a sports dynasty. The girls swimming and diving team has already laid claim to two consecutive state titles, something that was most recently accomplished by the legendary basketball teams of Harrison Barnes and Doug McDermott. In fact, girls swimming is actually poised to accomplish the even rarer feat of a three-peat. Not only do they consistently win, they consistently dominate most of the competition, both in dual meets and at the state meet, setting countless pool and state records along the way. In the past four years, the girls have only lost one dual meet and are currently on a three-year undefeated streak of thirty meets. Although most swim meets are won by large margins, senior captain Hannah Bonestroo notes that “there have been several very close meets against Johnston this year, including one where we had to come back on the last race.” Regardless of how the manner of wins, the girls swimming and diving team finds ways to win. Along with their undefeated streak they are also three year conference and district champions. Part of the girl’s success can be explained by having a coach like Dan Flannery. A former state champion swimmer himself and a legendary water polo player, the girls are easily able to rally behind Flannery’s leadership and immense knowledge of the sport of swimming. As Bonestroo says, “Dan is great and everybody loves him.” Even with an excellent coach, greatness does not come without sacrifice. The girl swimmers and divers go through the most rigorous training possible. A typical day will start with them getting up at 5 in the morning to practice for two hours and swim 5,000 yards and then feast on a breakfast of nails before heading to school. After school they practice for two more hours and 5,000 more yards before being able to go home. As Bonestroo describes it, “a typical day is basically swim, class, swim, eat sleep and then repeat.” Most people wouldn’t be able to survive under these intense conditions, but then again most people don’t have the opportunity to be three time state champions either. As the girls chase their third state title Bonestroo sums up the team’s devotion to the intense practice schedule with one of Coach Flannery’s favorite sayings. “As Dan always tell us, ‘hate me now, love me later.”