CLINTON — With all the schools at the River King & Queen Aquatic Center on Saturday, you wouldn’t expect a small school from Illinois to make a huge splash.
“You have got to want it,” Morrison head coach Chelsea Brewer told her team on the pool deck during one of the breaks.
But that’s exactly what the Morrison Fillies did: They wanted it. The Fillies scored more team points than eight other schools, taking first at the River Queen Swimming and Diving Invitational on Saturday afternoon. That field included much larger competition including Clinton, Pekin, Muscatine, Dubuque Hempstead and Davenport Central.
A trio of first place finishes and a whole handful of other places led the Fillies. Gracen Harmon led the field with a 2:06.78 finish in the 200 Yard Freestyle. Sydney Norman hit the wall first in the 200 Yard IM, finishing in 2:22.91. Then, the Morrison 200 Yard Freestyle Relay — which included Norman and Harmon along with Sara and Sadie Norman — finished five seconds ahead of the runner-up in 1:43.63.
Sadie Norman, Sydney Norma, Kate Henson and Lindsey Houldson finished as runner-ups in the 200 Yard Medley Relay, but barely. Pekin came in at 1:59.08, while the Fillies clocked in at 1:59.10.
Also picking up second place finishes included Sadie Norman in the 100 Yard Butterfly, Harmon in the 100 Yard Freestyle, Sadie Norman in the 100 Yard Backstroke and the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay, who lost by less than a second.
In fact, there were only three total varsity events where Morrison didn’t place one in the top three. One of those events was diving, where the Fillies don’t have an athlete.
The River Queens pieced up 105 total points, finishing ahead of both Davenport West and Davenport North.
“Always nice hosting a big event at home, they were all jacked up for that,” Clinton coach Albert Hayton said about the Queens. “They did a good job. They were all on fire, positive as can be and they swam well.”
They were able to pick up points in many places, individual and relays. The excitement of having a large meet at home was also evident, with palpable energy coming from the pool deck during each and every event.
The great swimming was another positive.
“The girls swam great. A lot of season bests today, a lot of team effort, everyone cheering everyone on,” Hayton said. “Some good drops today, some of them even better than last year’s already. There are some good things to take into this week at practice.”
The best finish for the Queens came in the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay. Molly Shannon, Kaedyn Schutte, Anna Hilgendorf and Olivia Schroeder combined for a 1:50.91, good for third place.
The same quartet made up the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay that finished fourth, picking up 22 points for the team with a 4:10.28 finish. They were less than four seconds away from the third place Muscatine team.
Individuals also had good nights. Olivia Schroeder clocked in at 26.92 in the 50 Yard Freestyle to take fifth, also cruising to a seventh place in the 100 Yard Backstroke. Kaedyn Schutte finished sixth in the 100 Yard Butterfly. Molly Shannon swam a 29.06 on her first lap to finish seventh overall in the 100 Yard Freestyle, finishing in the same position in the 100 Yard Breaststroke.
Clinton was missing Allison Hasenmiller, a relay member and a diver, due to illness.
The River Queens had just competed at home on Tuesday, and turn around and do the same this this week.
“They train, they know they’ll be tired on Tuesday. It’s another meet,” Hayton said. “You go through it knowing that at some point in the season you’ll have your low points and be exhausted. You put all that effort in then when it comes time for the end of the season you’ll have a nice taper.
“You just keep moving forward then before you know it it’s the end of October and it’s crunch time.”