CLINTON — Clinton pulled off the equivalent of a walk-off win Tuesday when the River Queen swimmers edged Davenport North in a dual meet 86-82.
The teams entered the final race of the day — the 400-yard freestyle relay — with the Wildcats leading 78-76, meaning a first-place win for North would have sealed the victory. River Queens Maddie Marlowe, Sadie Nickles, Becca Hess and Nikki Erling had something to say about that. The foursome won the relay by more than 50 seconds — 4 minutes, 16.31 seconds compared with North’s 5:09.46.
It capped off a day in which Clinton coach Albert Hayton decided to try some new things, with different swimmers competing in new races.
“Today, we were just trying to get places and points,” Hayton said. He pointed to Hess — winner of two relays and one individual event — as a swimmer trying something new. “She normally doesn’t do the 500 freestyle. This was an off-night for us. We knew we weren’t going to have a lot of events in this one.”
Hess won the 500 freestyle with a time of 6:40.28. She then turned around in the next race to help Clinton earn a 200 freestyle relay win, edging the Wildcats by 11.06.
“I found out this morning what I’d be (swimming),” an out-of-breath Hess said after the second race. “I had to prepare myself. I honestly thought I was going to get beat by everyone.”
The meet might not have been so close at the end were it not for an early disqualification. Freshman Molly Anderson was neck-and-neck with North’s JaLynne Browning through 200 yards in the individual medley. After trailing in the second stroke — backstroke — she made up ground and retook the lead with the third lap breast stroke.
Anderson wound up with an unofficial first-place finish at 2:57.58. But because she did a dive-turn while transitioning strokes, her result was not counted.