Rails Win First Meet of the Year!

Grinnell_FIThe high school girls team started season with a big “W” on Tuesday (8/25)! The team competed in an early season invite meet with diving on Monday and swimming on Tuesday. The Varsity-Only invite had 4 schools in attendance: Boone, Grinnell, Lincoln and Williamsburg.

Final Scores
Lincoln – 447
Boone – 419
Grinnell – 273
Williamsburg – 169

Meet Highlights
This meet was a fun one with a lot of great swims to start the season! While we can’t recognize everyone, here’s just a few highlights from the meet.

  • Jolynn Harris scoring 451 in diving to take first place! She also had a new personal best.
  • Medley Relay (Bennett, Skartvedt, DuBois, Trucano) swam a 2:02.06 to start the season!
  • Erica Benson dropped 9 seconds in her 200 IM to a time of 2:40.80
  • Jordyn DuBois’s 100 Fly time of 1:06.37 was an in-season best (and only one second from her taper time last year!)
  • Marnie Hoefler swam the 500 Free in a 6:23.47, a new personal best! (So was her 200 Free – 2:23.79)

Below are few of the great photos taken from the meet on Tuesday. You can view them all (and a ton more!) on the Shutterfly photo websit (log-in required).

Meet The Team: Freshman

2015 Class - Freshmen 2_EnhancedWe are very excited to welcome these 9th graders to the Rails Swim/Dive team! This group features athletes from Norwalk, Carlisle and the Southside of Des Moines. These young ladies are the building blocks for the future, but their contributions this season shouldn’t be overlooked. Learn a little more about each girl below.

Erica Benson | Erica’s main goal for season is to qualify for state in diving.  However, she’s also a Varsity swimmer and hopes to drop time in her individual events (200 IM and 100 Fly) along with improving her split times in relays. Erica’s looking forward to bonding with everyone on the team!

Grace Crady | Grace’s main goal for season is kick more and have better streamlines, thereby improving her races/times. She is a Varsity swimmer, Band and Show Choir. Grace is looking forward to becoming a stronger and better swimmer. She is a student at Norwalk High School.

Gabriel Espinoza | Gabi is a JV swimmer.

Gina Goshon | Gina main goal for season to break :35 on her 50 Free and improve her starts (by going out more!). She is a JV swimmer and participates in Band. Gina is more looking forward to becoming a better swimmer and having fun on the team. Gina joins the team from Norwalk.

Anna Jasper |  Anna main goal for season is to work hard and get better. She’s most looking forward to seeing everyone’s hard work pay off at the end of season. Anna is one of our Norwalk swimmers.

Kenzie McNew | Kenzie’s main goal for season is to learn 11 dives to be able to dive at the Conference Meet. She is a JV diver and also participates in the LHS Orchestra.

Lanchi Nguyen | Lanchi’s main goal for season to improve in all of her events. She is a JV swimmer and also participates in Band. She’s excited to hang out with the team and get to know everyone.

Vanessa Pirillo |  Vanessa’s main goal for season to go sub :60 in the 100 Free and get her Sub :60 Club t-shirt. She’s also working to swim the 50 Free in under 27 seconds. Vanessa’s really looking forward to meeting to new people, breaking old personal best times and meeting her goals.

Keara Schmitt | Keara break :30 seconds in her 50 Free and improve her 100 Free time as well. She is a Varsity swimmer and plays basketball. Keara is looking forward to all the Thursday Breakfast mornings!

Kristina Toben | Kristina’s main goal for this season to qualify for state in diving. She’s a Varsity diver, volleyball player, cheerleader and softball player.

Taylor Whipple | Taylor’s goal for season is to improve her current personal best times. Taylor swims both Varsity and JV events and is a member of Choir. She’s looking forward to doing fun things with the team!

Ella Worth |  Ella’s two main goals for swim season are to drop time and be selected as a state alternate. Outside of swimming, she loves to sleep! She’s really excited to spend time with the team and enjoy some team bonding.

2015 Swim Buddies Announced!

For over 25 years, the high school girls team has done a team member gift exchange to get motivated and excited for meets. While the name and style has changed through the years, this fun team activity has become a tried and true tradition.

The current Swim Buddy program pairs two swimmers together (older with younger whenever possible) for the purpose of exchanging gifts, cards, food, and/or other items before meets. This helps the girls get to know one another better and get ready for competition.

Below is the list of 2015 Swim Buddies and a few frequently asked questions.

2015 Swim Buddies List
Haley Allen & Gabriel Espinoza
Sara Bennett & Keara Schmitt
Anna Dotts & Anna Jasper
Jordyn Dubois & Grace Crady
Jordan Hanson & Caitlin Belden
Marnie Hoefler & Gina Goshon
Allison Kochheiser & Taylor Whipple
Ane Skartvedt & Vanessa Pirillo
Summer Struve & Ella Worth
Alexis Trucano & Lanchi Nguyen
Kristina Toben & Kenzie McNew (Diving Pair)
Jessica Warrell & Erica Benson

How Are Swim Buddies Decided?
Swim Buddies are created mostly at random. The team roster is typed into Random.org’s list randomizer and submitted. The results are displayed in a random order and we simply match 1 & 2 together, 3 & 4 together and so on.

However, we DO make sure older swimmers are paired with freshman swimmers. Why? Because the goal of this program is to help freshman get to know older team members. We also pair dive-only team members with each other.

How Often Do I Give (& Get) Something?
We encourage the girls to work this out between themselves. Some Buddies decide to do something every meet, some only for road trips, and others for a few specific meets during the year.

Wondering what’s common? Normally Buddies exchange gifts at the first meet of the year, a few big meets (or road meets) during season and the last meet of the year.

This is not meant to be a stressful thing so we strongly recommend working out expectations in advance! If you have questions, feel free to ask a senior or a coach.

And, as always, the girls are asked if they’d like to opt-out. This is 100% voluntary.

What Are Gift Ideas & How Much Do I Spend?
Like above, this is something usually worked out between the girls. Some spend $5+ each gift exchange while others only do homemade treats. Ideas include: Gatorade, water, Goldfish or other crackers, fruit, balloons, candy/cookies (for after the meet!) and similar items.

A typical example of a Swim Buddy gift is: Gatorade/water, Goldfish, a piece of fruit, balloon or homemade “Good Luck” card. But we’ve seen all kinds of fun ideas!

We encourage you to ask your Buddy what flavors/preferences they may have. Also – if the team opts to do themed-gifts for any meets, have fun playing along!

Team Picture Ordering Information

Team pictures were taken on Thursday (8/25). You can view all individual photos, buddy photos and the team picture on the LHS Girls picture website (powered by Shutterfly).

This website is available to LHS Girls swimmers and parents only. Our team photographer/parent needs to add your email to view the website. If you don’t have access, please contact Angie Bennett.

You will be prompted to log-in to your Shutterfly account when you click the link above. Be sure to use the email found in the Shutterfly invitation sent to you on Friday (8/21).

Just a reminder: this picture website will be updated frequently with photos from meets and team events. You can also add your own!

Order Team Picture Prints
Ordering the photos is simple. You can select your favorites, add to your cart and order right from Shutterfly. You can also download the high-resolution photos from the picture website and print them at your favorite photo place.



HS Girls Season Starts Today & Time Trials Meet Saturday!

The day is finally here – the first day of the 2015 HS Girls Swim Season! Today marks the last “first day” for the seniors and the first “first day” for the freshmen. It’s the start to another season of memories, achievements and, of course, hard work!

Most importantly, it’s another milestone on the #RoadToState!

To help prepare the team for a successful year, a Time Trials meet is held each season. This year’s meet will be on August 15th. Full details below.

Time Trials Meet Info
This mock meet is set up exactly like a real swim meet to get a benchmark for season. It’s important for everyone on the team to take it seriously because the times will determine relay assignments and individual event placement.

Just like last year, the HS boys team is joining the races! To make the meet competitive for all swimmers, we’ve asked for the guys to help. There will be mixed relays, mixed events and multiple heats. Winners get bragging rights!

Since both HS teams will have the chance to see their times after a full summer of training – we try to make the atmosphere as close to a real meet as possible. In other words, this meet is open to family, friends, and club swimmers who would like to cheer on the team. In fact, we’d love it if you came and made some noise!

Time Trials Schedule
Warm-ups at 8:00AM
Meet starts at 8:35AM
Diving will be held (apprx. 8:45AM)
10 minute break
Remainder of the meet
Meet ends at apprx. 10:00AM

Just a reminder to all swimmers and families: if the time trials meet is not taken seriously by the team, then a full 2.5 hour practice will be held following the mock meet. We don’t anticipate this to be a problem, but do want to keep everyone informed.

HS Girls Pre-Season Meeting & Info

The girls season begins in just a few weeks (Aug. 10th) which means it’s time to have the annual parent meeting. Read more about the pre-season meeting and other info below.

Pre-Season Meeting
Every year the girls team holds a pre-season meeting at one of the swimmer’s homes. This gathering is designed to be the first opportunity for team-building and to answer any questions about the upcoming season. This meeting is mandatory for every swimmer/diver and at least one parent to be on the team.

Topics covered include:

  • Mandatory fees (read more below)
  • Team rules
  • Varsity/JV division
  • Practice Schedule
  • Meet/Practice expectations
  • Differences between high school and club swimming (you can read more about that here)
  • Apparel ordering (now available online! – Read more below)
  • Diet and nutrition
  • and other questions

This year’s meeting will be July 14th at 6:00PM. It’s being held at the Dott’s home. Please check your email for the exact address.

Online Payment for Fees & Apparel
We’re excited to be able to offer online payment for season fees and all apparel items! This means we can now accept credit cards for payment. Plus – images of all the apparel items can be viewed online.

  • Mandatory Team Bundle – $86.65: This includes the team suit, one swim cap, milk fee, and travel food costs.
  • Team Warm-ups – $100: While these are optional, 100% of the team has ordered them in previous years. With proper care, they should last all four years of high school swimming*. Note – you’ll need to add the jacket and pants to your cart separately because this allows to choose different sizes for each (if needed).
    • *We had to change the warm-ups this season due to the old style being discounted. There is no need for girls with the prior warm-ups to reorder. They are very similar.
  • 2015 Team T-shirt – $12: Team t-shirts commemorate the season and are typically worn in team pictures and at the Chicken Bowl fundraiser.
  • 2015 Team Sweatshirt – $30/$35: New for 2015 –  we are offering two styles for team sweatshirt. The hoodie style is viewable as image 1 on the store and is $30. The wideneck style is viewable is image 2 on the store and is $35. You’ll pick your size/style from the drop-down list.
  • 2015 Team Sweatpants – $27: Cozy and warm! Perfect for after practice and meets.
  • Speedo Vanquisher Goggles + Bungee – $20: Save a trip to Elsmore Swim Shop. You can get your goggles/bungee from practice on a first come, first serve basis.
  • Fan T-shirt | Newly Redesigned! – $12: Show your LHS Rails pride in the stands. We love filling the stands with maroon and gold and this is a great way to do it!
    • The fan t-shirt is used for several seasons so you’ll only need to buy it once. The prior design was used for 10 seasons!

Donations of milk (or money to purchase milk) are always appreciated! The team uses about 2.5 gallons (or about $10) of milk of a day. To help keep the mandatory fee manageable – we only have a $10 milk fee in the team bundle. However, that will only cover about 1/3 of the season.

To make a milk donation, please email Coach Weber for details on when/what is needed. If you’d like to make a monetary donation, you can do so using the milk donation item under the High School Girls menu item.

Thank for our families! We’re looking forward to another great season!

High School Swimming vs. Club Swimming

High school swim season works differently than club swimming. As both the men’s and women’s teams continue to grow, we wanted to share some important differences between club and high school swimming.

  • Practices are mandatory, unless otherwise stated. A big test, homework, or a long day at school aren’t valid reasons for missing. But don’t worry, the hard work will pay off!
  • Meets are mandatory too. We’ll travel to away meets as a team.
    • If the meet is outside of the Metro, swimmer must ride back to Lincoln on the bus.
    • If the meet is located within the metro, swimmers are welcome to ride home with their parents, but don’t forget to tell Coach Weber.
  • Meets are scored. After each event, the score is updated. To make it easier to keep track, we provide score sheets in our meet programs.
    Individual events: 1st place – 6 points, 2nd – 4 points, 3rd – 3 points, 4th – 2 points, and 5th – 1 point.
    Relay: 1st place – 8 points, 2nd place – 4 points and 3rd place – 2 points. No team can score more than two of their relays.
  • All swimmers stay on deck and out of the stands during meets. At this level, swimming is a team sport so cheering for your teammates and being supportive on deck is a must.
  • There is a Varsity team and JV team (just like all other high schools sports) and each has their own coach.
    • Though the coaches will help out with swimmers from both squads, most of their focus is on helping their respective swimmers become better.
  • You represent yourselves, the swim program and Lincoln High School at all times. Keep that in mind when tweeting, posting and sharing. This applies to parents too.
  • In women’s swimming: several meets will have diving. It counts as an individual event and occurs after the 50 Free.
  • Have fun. While every team or coach says this, the swim team means it! Go to team dinners, join in on bonding events, head to dinner to celebrate a meet win and more!

We cover these items, detailed team policies and a lot of other information at the parent meeting that takes place before swim season begins. Parents and swimmers will learn more about a healthy season diet, taper, team expectations and more.

Parents will receive everything in a parent handbook at that time and can always email Coach Weber with questions.

Go Rails! We’re looking forward to continued swimming successes! And of course, more trips to state!

Rails Swim Solid At First Club Meet

Several Rails swimmers are swimming with the South DM Seahawks all summer to train for the high school swim seasons. So far that training is paying off! At the first SDMS club meet of the summer season on Monday (6/15), swimmers had solid off-season times.

Meet Highlights
We always try to share a few meet highlights from every meet. Below are just a few of the note-worthy swims:

  • Jordyn Dubois swam the 100 Fly in 1:11.35
  • Ella Worth (incoming 9th grader) finished her 100 Fly in a 1:16.43
  • Javier Santiago (incoming 9th grader) swam his 100 Fly in 1:10.05
  • Ane Skartvedt’s 200 IM time was a strong 2:39.54
  • Alexis Trucano swam the 500 Free in 6:18.09
  • Christain Belden finished the 500 Free in 5:32.66

You can also check out the full meet results. The younger swimmers had a great meet too! Meet results for the current season can always be found under Club Swimming > Current Season.

If you’re interested in viewing the results from prior club seasons, check out the SDMS Meet Results Archive. Comparing to earlier meets is a great way to track an athlete’s improvement and know if off-season training is ahead (or behind) of where it should be.

Up Next
Seahawk Sprint Classic: June 22, 2015. The Sprint Classic is a really fun meet held only during the summer season. Because of its short race format (25 – 100 yards in all events for all age-groups), even  the swimmers look forward to this meet! This meet is also seeded solely on times, so all ages race each other. Be sure to sign-up by Friday (6/19) morning using the meet sign-up button in the sidebar. You can bet the younger kids will be aiming to defeat some high school swimmers in the water!

Men’s Swimmer Grabs Scholarship & Earns Scholar Athlete of the Year

TC_Meline Scholarship_2015

Matt Meline and Tom Chidley

Congratulations Tom Childey! At Lincoln High School’s 2015 Class Night (5/22), Tom earned two big awards – Scholar Athlete of the Year and the Meline Family Swim Scholarship. Well-done Tom!

About Tom

Tom was a four-year varsity swimmer for the Lincoln Rails men’s swim team. He attended the state swim meet three years in a row and is featured four times on the Men’s Swimming Top 5 All-Time list. “Tom proved himself to be a leader in the pool and in the classroom. He was, and continues to be, a motivator for the guys,” says Coach Weber. “He’s a living proof of what hard-work and determination can achieve.” Tom ended his senior season earning two prestigious team awards – the MVP Award and the Tom Cady Achievement Award.

Scholar Athlete of the Year Award

Lincoln High School’s Scholar Athlete of the Year Award is given to one senior athlete (male and female) every year. The recipient must maintain a strong academic performance while also participating in varsity athletics. With a graduating class of approximately 400 students each year, receiving this award is a significant achievement!

Meline Family Swim Scholarship

2015 is the first year of this annual scholarship. This scholarship was set up to recognize and reward a Lincoln High School swimmer who portrays the traits of a strong team leader with a stellar academic record who is involved in volunteering their time outside of school and activities. The scholarship provides a four-year monetary commitment to each recipient.



Rails Swim Well at Midwest Regional Meet

OlderGroup_MWR_2015Lincoln swimmers are a dedicated group! Most swim year-round as part of the South DM Swimming club team (official feeder team for LHS). This past weekend several attended at the big Midwest Regional swim meet held in Minneapolis, MN over the weekend (3/28-29).

And they did great!

As a team, South DM Swimming earned 553 points and finished 13th of 84 registered teams. That’s 12 spots better than SDMS’s 2014 finish (306 pts)!

Plus – exactly 20 SDMS team records were broken, several by current or incoming high school swimmers meaning some LHS School Records could be broken soon too!

Check out the updated SDMS team records to see the new times. SDMS Team Records are located on the team website in the top header.

Local Team Comparison
Over the last couple years, more local swim clubs from Des Moines have started attending Midwest Regionals too. Here’s how the Seahawks compared to other Des Moines metro club teams.

South DM Swimming (SDMS): 553 points and 13th place
Northside Otters (NSST): 340 points and 24th place
East Swim Team: 191 points and 34th place

Meet Highlights
With such outstanding swims both days, we can’t recognize everyone. Here’s just a few of the highlights:

  • Javier Santiago swam 1:08.00 in 13-14 Boys 100 Back, a personal best and team record
  • Sara Bennett earned two personal bests and also set two team records – 15-18 Girls 500 Free (5:48.16) and 15-18 Girls 200 Free (2:10.63)
  • Brayden Clark set two team records, the 13-14 Boys 100 Free (56.66) and 13-14 Boys 100 Breaststroke (1:14.79)
  • Christian Belden swam a fast time of 52.12 in the 15-18 Boys 100 Free
  • 18 & Under Girls 400 Free Relay (Benson, Worth, Trucano, Bennett) took 3rd overall!
  • SDMS earning 10 Top 4 finishes (which means the athletes got medals!)

You can view the full meet results to see all of the great swims by the Seahawks. Also included is the entire list of final scores for each team from the entire meet.

View photos from the meet on the South DM Swimming facebook page. Plus – you can share your own!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.