Learn More about High School Swimming

High school girls swimming starts in just under two weeks! Time has been flying by this off-season as the girls worked hard to stay in shape. In fact, they’ve seen some fast times at the club meets with many near (or at) their personal bests! This is great news for the team, since we’ve all watched those state cut-off times get faster and faster.

What’s Different About HS Swimming
High school swim season works differently than club swimming. With several new team members, we wanted to post a few things to remember about the upcoming season.

  • 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. Swimmers are welcome 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.
  • Several meets will have diving. It counts as an individual event and occurs after the 50 Free.
  • 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.
  • You represent yourselves, the swim program and Lincoln High School at all times. Keep that in mind when tweeting, posting and sharing.
  • 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!

Go Rails! We’re looking forward to another successful season!

New Blocks Installed over July 4th Weekend!

blocksThat’s right – the brand new (and very expensive) blocks have been installed! These blocks play an important part in preparing high school swimmers for the coming season and beyond.

The blocks are designed to maximize a swimmers potential speed right off the blocks. But they take some getting used too! This is especially true when it comes to the foot choke: using it, knowing which setting is right for each swimmer and how to move it where it should be.

Because of all this, we’re very excited to have the blocks in well before the start of season! Now everyone will have 4-6 weeks to practice using them before meet competitions begin.

Great things happening at the Lincoln Pool!

Go Rails!!

Coming Soon: New Blocks!


Side angle view

We’re very excited to announce that we’ll be getting new blocks! After generous donations by BLH, Lincoln Athletics, SDMS, swimming alums and several Southside businesses, we raised the all of the money needed for new blocks – $19,000!

This new style of block is designed to improve starts, especially when using the foot choke. A foot choke runs across the back of the block providing a platform for the swimmer to push off of which improves their start’s power and momentum. Now that they’re legal for Iowa high school swimming, we expect more pools will upgrade to this style in the coming years. That means Rails swimmers will be using them at dual meets (and maybe at State!) in the future. Because using the new blocks will require a some adjustment, we wanted our swimmers to have a plenty of time to get used to them.

The new blocks are black, have a side step up and a maroon & gold foot choke. We can’t wait for them to be installed by the start of summer club swimming. Stay tuned for real photos.

Go Rails!


Front view


Side view

Men’s Team Celebrates Season

The men’s team celebrated a successful season at Monday’s (2/17) end-of-season banquet.

The 2013-2014 season was filled with surprises and triumphs. When season started November 11th, the team was made up of six returning members and 14 rookies. One of the best things about this season is the way the guys all came together, supported each other and really bonded. The coaches often heard they were like brothers – and that is a great thing!

Then there were the meets! The team won several close meets this year. In fact, three were by 7 points or less. Being able to do so is another credit to the guys; from top to bottom, they learned how to perform under pressure.

Lastly was the big district & state meets! As mentioned district night, it was the best performance ever. Not only did 100% of the team drop time of their seed times, the guys also dropped more time per 100 yards (2.65 seconds!) then any other team before. Then the Rails headed to state where the relay dropped more time and finished 23rd!

Of course, banquet was also a time for awarding junior varsity and varsity letters along with the team awards. See the award recipients below.

Junior Varsity Letters
The coaches were proud to award 5 first year junior varsity letters to:
Mason Cord
Domenic Gardner
Ryan Jump
Riley May
Logan Olsen

Varsity Letters
The coaches were proud to award 15 varsity letters to:
Christian Belden (2nd year)
Robby Blaylock (1st year)
Gennaro Cataldo (2nd year)
Tom Chidley (3rd year)
Abraham Contreras (3rd year)
Drew Garrett (1st year)
Devin Greenwood (1st year)
Alec Haltom (1st year)
Caleb Meyer (2nd year)
Lucas Signor (1st year)
Andrew Speck (1st year)
Tyler Whitehead (1st year)
Tanner Wood (1st year)
Carter Worth (4th year)
Cooper Worth (1st year)

Team Awards
Most Valuable Player: Carter Worth
Tom Cady Achievement Award: Carter Worth
Rookie of the Year: Cooper Worth
Most Improved: Robby Blaylock and Christian Belden
Workhorse Award: Tom Chidley
Team Captains: Carter Worth, Abraham Contreras and Tom Chidley


Team Award Descriptions
Most Valuable Player (Outstanding Swimmer of the Year Award):
This award is given to a swimmer that displays team leadership and excellent swimming abilities.  Prior to 2005, the award was given only to swimmers who had been members of the team for at least two years. In 2005, the requirements were changed to allow a swimmer of any age displaying outstanding leadership skills and swimming ability to receive the MVP award.

Tom Cady Achievement Award: This award was created in 2007, 40 years after Tom Cady first became a Lincoln swim coach. It’s given out to a swimmer or diver that displays a year-long dedication to the sport of swimming, and thus a dedication to the Lincoln Swim Team.  This award recognizes swimmers for their dedication, not just their ability. This award was dedicated to Tom to thank him for his life long dedication to the sport of swimming and, more specifically, to Lincoln High School.

Rookie of the Year: This award is given to the best “rookie” of the season. It recognizes a team newcomer for their contributions made to the team including ability, dedication and success in competition. The award doesn’t have to be given to a freshman, but rather can be awarded to any swimmer who completed their first season on the team.

Most-Improved: This award can be awarded using two sets of criteria, the swimmer that improved the most during one season or the swimmer that improved the most from a prior season. Sometimes, there is a winner using each set of criteria because both improvements deserve recognition and acknowledgement.

Workhorse Award: This award, simply put, is given to the athlete who works the hardest. They are at practice on time, don’t miss sets during practice, and don’t miss practices in general. They put a lot of effort into the season, and this award recognizes that hard work. At times this award is given to a junior varsity team member and a varsity team member.

Team Captains: Team Captains are awarded at the end of each season by the coaches. The Team Captains are the athletes that demonstrated great leadership ability throughout the season on a consistent basis.

Middle School Boys Dominate City Meet

The middle school boys (MSB) swimmers had the last meet of their MSB season on Tuesday (2/11), the big City Meet! And the boys did great. In fact, the Rails were on the podium in every event, usually representing more than one place!

Meet Highlights
Below are just a few meet highlights from the meet. We can’t recognize everyone, so be sure to check out the full meet results to see all of the great swims.

  • The Medley Relay (Clark, Whitlatch, Santiago, Espinoza) took first! We also took had a third place relay.
  • Brayden Clark took second in the 50 Free with a 28.09
  • Miguel Espinoza took third 28.66 in the 50 Free. Plus the Rails toko fourth and sixth.
  • Javier Santiago’s 100 IM time of 1:13.30 took third place.
  • Troy Johnson’s 39.66 in the 50 Back earned him third place. Plus the Rails took fourth and fifth.
  • Miguel Espinoza took first in the 100 Free with 1:02.05
  • Brayden Clark’s 100 Free time of 1:03.69 earned him second place. The Rails also took sixth.
  • The Rails took third, fourth, and fifth in the 50 Fly. Congrats Santiago, Johnson and Irvin!
  • Sam Whitlatch earned first place in the 50 Breaststroke with a time of 37.80. The Rails also took fourth and fifth.
  • 200 Sprint Relay of Espinoza, Whitlatch, Santiago, Clark took first place with a time of 1:58.39! Plus the Rails took third and sixth.

Congrats to all the guys! Go Rails!

State Relay In The News

KCCI VideoIt was a first for Lincoln Swimming – a TV interview with KCCI!

The Rails state relay team of Christian Belden, Tom Chidley, Carter Worth and Cooper Worth was interviewed on Monday (2/10) about going to state with a focus on brotherly love. Having brothers on the same relay attending state is another Rails Swimming first!

Check out the full video!

Rails Heading to State!

MensDistricts2014The 2014 district meets involve every guy aiming to swim their best time of the season across the entire state on the same day. And it worked! This year’s state qualifying times included some of the fastest ever for several events.

But the Rails did more than aim for time-drops; they succeed in a big way with 100% of the district team setting personal best times in all of their events! The guys dropped a record-setting 99.5 seconds as a team Saturday (2/8) at Johnston. Part of the huge time drops in all 11 events included the team dropping 8 seconds in the 400 free relay! That big drop was enough to earn the guys a spot in the state meet in Marshalltown next Saturday (2/15)!

Meet Highlights
Traditionally we recognize a few individuals from each meet in our meet highlights, but there were far too many great swims to only select a few, so check out the complete results to see them all!

  • Three podium appearances – the Medley Relay, 50 Free and 400 Free Relay
  • 100% time drops in all events – stroke, distance, sprints and relays
  • The largest rookie class at a district meet in Coach Weber’s tenure – 8 of the 14 guys!

Plus – we awarded three “Sub” T-shirts! Senior Carter Worth earned his Sub: 50 T-shirt with his split time in 400 Free Relay of 49 seconds. Tom Chidley got his Sub :55 shirt in the relay (and went Sub :60 in the 100 Fly and 100 Back). Meanwhile Devin Greenwood scored his Sub :60 shirt in the first 100 of his 500 Free! Nice work guys!

Our fans, once again, showed up in big numbers Saturday! Thank you!! The guys all noticed and appreciated our large cheering section! We look forward to seeing everyone at the State meet next week in Marshalltown and at the dinner following the meet at Mezzodi’s around 5:00pm.

Stay tuned for specific details (travel, tickets prices, meeting times, etc) regarding State which will be shared later in the week.



Rails Finish Strong!

It’s all about the finish! This was never more true than the last event of the Conference Meet on Saturday (2/1).

The Rails had their sights on winning the 400 Free Relay all day. But first, the guys needed to focus on all of the other events. The Rails came away with tons of top 10 finishes and podium appearances. Then it was time for the 400 Free Relay.

The guys dove in and the Rails were leading, but Roosevelt and Indianola weren’t going to give up easily. As they flipped and came out of the last turn, we were behind RHS. The crowd was going crazy as Carter Worth began to close the gap. He got closer and closer until they were arm for arm inside the flags heading towards the wall! Both threw for the finish, but the Rails touched first, winning by .24 of a second!

And that’s how it’s done!


Carter Worth’s 3rd place finish in the 50 Free

  • Medley relay – 5th place by Greenwood, Whitehead, Contreras, Blaylock
  • 200 Free – 4th place by Christian Belden
  • 50 Free – 3rd place by Carter Worth
  • 100 Fly – 5th place by Tom Chidley
  • 100 Free-3rd place by Carter Worth
  • 100 Free-5th place by Cooper Worth
  • 200 Free Relay – 3rd place by Worth, Worth, Belden, Chidley
  • 100 Back – 3rd place by Tom Chidley
  • 100 Breaststroke – 3rd place by Tyler Whitehead
  • 400 Free Relay – 1st place by Belden, Chidley, Worth, Worth

Congrats to all the Rails on a great day and a great meet! We look forward to what next Saturday will bring!

Rails Go Blond!

It’s a time honored tradition for the guys to shave their heads before their last meet of the year. So as part of that tradition, they have a little fun first!

Each year the seniors choose a hair color for the entire team to dye their hair with in advance of shaving. Along with the hair dye, they do funky hair cuts! We had several first-timers this year who had to overcome nerves. But, as always, it was a great team bonding experience. Check out pictures below!


Saturday’s Conference Meet is the last of the season for six guys, so look for their clean shaven heads tomorrow (2/1). Hope to see you there to cheer on the guys!

Meet Details
Conference Meet at Roosevelt
Warm-ups at 8:15am
Start time at 10:00am

Championship Season Underway

The 2013-14 Lincoln Men’s Swim Team has worked hard since last June to put themselves in position for the next three weeks of the swim season. All of the training yards, early mornings, plyo workouts, and weight lifting all comes together as the Rails start to focus on the Metro Conference Championship Meet, District Meet, and hopefully another trip to Marshalltown for the State Meet.

One of the many traditions of championship season is the annual hair dying and mo-hawk head shaving nights, which will take place Wednesday at Lincoln at 4:30pm. Friday the conference meet taper swimmers will take all the hair off after dinner at the Wood’s household in preparation of setting their best times of the season at their last meet.

This Saturday at Roosevelt High School the Rails will begin the 2014 Conference Meet at 10:00am. Warm ups begin at 8:40am, with all swimmers needing to be on deck ready to go at 8:15am.

We hope to see everyone at the meet Saturday, sporting as much maroon and gold in those RHS stands as possible!


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