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!

Rails End Season on High Note

The 2014-15 Boys Swim Season came to end with the state meet in Marshalltown and the team banquet the following Monday evening. The boys did their best to send senior Tom Chidley out with a bang, as the foursome of (Greenwood, Worth, Chidley, Belden) dropped more time and moved up in the state rankings in both of the relays they qualified to the state meet. The 200 medley relay finished the season with the 3rd best time in Lincoln History, while the 400 freestyle relay finished with the 5th best time in school history!

Besides the 5-1 record, top 2 finish in the conference and the state qualifiers, the 2014-15 season was marked with another outstanding tradition, THE FANS! The over whelming support by the parents, family members, girls swim team and their families, and alumni coming to all of the big meets was outstanding. The south side was more than represented at both the district and state meets, and we hope this tradition continues next season!

Monday marked another team banquet where everyone could sit back, relax, talk about the season, and many members of the team earn some team rewards! With more than 65 people coming to the banquet for the first time, the team will need to change venues next season to accommodate all the people!

This year’s award winners are:

Most Valuable Swimmer: Tom Chidley
Tom Cady Achievement Award: Tom Chidley
Rookie of the Year: Miguel Espinoza
Most Improved: Devin Greenwood & Caleb Meyer
Workhorse Award: Christian Belden
Team Captain Award: Tom Chidley

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. Often 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. Several captains are chosen throughout the season before each meet to motivate the team. Being a Meet Captain is tied to that week’s performance and effort in practice. The Team Captains are the athletes that demonstrated great leadership ability throughout the season on a consistent basis.


MS Boys Dominate City Meet

The 2014-15 Lincoln Middle School Boys swim team once again showed it’s depth and dominance by dropping more time and placing higher and higher in every event at the City Meet on 2/10 at East High School. The Rails brought home 5 first place swims, put their A, B, and C medley and sprint relays all on the top 6 podium, and took almost 50% of the top 6 finishes across the entire meet! This was a great season by the team, building on last year’s success and now aiming to qualify more boys to the Midwest Regional Meet in March.

Meet Highlights

  • Medley Relay (Santiago, Clark, Wilson, Bennett) taking first place with a 2:09.32!
  • Will Bennett setting a personal best 27.99 in the 50 free and winning the event!
  • Konnor Klocke going a 39.19 in the 50 fly, a personal best!
  • Trysten Thomas setting a personal best in the 50 free with 36.99!
  • Javier Santiago winning the 50 fly with a time of 30.71!
  • 200 Free Relay (Slycord, Santiago, Bennett, Clark) taking first place with a 1:53.22!

The full meet results can be found on the practice and meet schedule page.

Up Next:
2/23: Final SDMS Meet of the season
3/28 & 3/29: Midwest Regional Meet in MN

State Meet Tips, Tricks & Details

We love seeing our fans at State supporting the guys. But the State meet can be a crazy atmosphere so we’ve shared some tips and tricks to help out!  We also wanted to share details for Saturday’s celebratory event!

The state meet starts Saturday (2/14) at 12:30PM.

Admission is $10 and tickets can be bought in advance from the LHS Athletic Office while supplies last. Getting tickets early will be a big help Saturday because you’ll be able to enter the pool area right at 11:00AM. Otherwise, you’ll need to wait for tickets to go on sale at 11:00AM before entering the pool.

The state swimmers and coaches will leave Lincoln at 8:00 a.m. to be at Marshalltown by 9:00 a.m.  Fans will be let into the YMCA gym at 9:00 a.m. This is where the line will begin to form until fans are let into the pool area at 11:00 a.m. to get seats. Of course, fans may be lining up outside before being let into the gym. We’ve heard stories of families being there as early a 6AM! More official details can be found below.

Seating Tips & Tricks

Arrive early! Keep in mind State is PACKED! From the parking to the stands!  If you’d like to sit in a group, you must arrive early and stay together in the gym.  The coaches and state swimmers can’t save seats before the facility is open and you won’t be able to save seats for others that arrive later. Police officers and staff don’t allow it. Remember, thousands of people will be coming to watch the meet.

Head to the far side of the stands!  We encourage our parents and fans to sit on the opposite side of the entrance. So walk past the pool and go sit above the state swimmers. This strategy has worked well in the past.

Saturday Evening Details

Following the State Meet all fans and swimmers are encouraged to meet up at Dos Rios downtown on Court Ave. Everyone usually arrives straight from Marshalltown around 5:00PM. Even if you can’t make the drive to the meet, we would love to see you there!

The large Don Roberto room has been rented so all parents, families and swimmers can sit together, relax, and celebrate a great day and season!

We’re asking $20/person which includes the Tres Salsas appetizer, Taco Bar main course, a non-alcoholic drink, tip, and tax.

Just a reminder, downtown parking can be somewhat limited. We hope that by arriving early, the parking lot located directly across from Dos Rios will have a lot of open spots.

Official Rules & Information from the Association

The general public will be admitted into the facility through the northwest pool doors at 11:00 a.m. Spectators will be allowed entrance into the Marshalltown Community Y’s gymnasium on Saturday at 9:00 a.m.  Fans should enter through the gymnasium entrance of the Community Y (located just south of the main entrance). Spectators are expected to be respectful and behave responsibly while waiting for the facility to open. Spectators traveling in RV’s/Campers are expected to park them in the YMCA/YWCA East Parking Lot. NO GRILLS OR FIRES IN THE PARKING LOT. Cost is $10.00.

You must have a ticket to gain entry into the natatorium. A reminder to spectators that smoking is not prohibited anywhere on the Marshalltown Community Y grounds. All contestants, managers and coaches must enter and exit the facility through the pass gate.

Rails Heading to State!

The 2014-15 season continued as planned this past Saturday as the Lincoln Rails are heading back to the state meet for the 7th consecutive season! The team had a day full of great swims, time drops, and podium finishers, adding to that multiple top 5 All Time swims in Lincoln swimming history. Here are a few of the highlights from the district meet at Roosevelt:

Meet Highlights

  • Medley Relay (Greenwood, Worth, Chidley, Belden) with a time of 1:43.37, 3rd All Time at Lincoln ever and heading to the state meet!
  • Devin Greenwood going 1:57 and 5:18 in the 200 and 500 freestyle, dropping a total of 16 seconds!
  • Drew Garrett dropped 8 seconds in the IM with a time of 2.26!
  • Lucas Signor dropping 3 seconds in the 100 and getting his SUB :55 Shirt!
  • Tom Chidley taking 6th overall in the fly with a season best time of 55.63 and tying 4th All Time at LHS!
  • 400 Freestyle Relay (Belden, Chidley, Worth, Greenwood) with a time of 3:25.54 and heading to State!

Up Next:
2/14: State Meet at Marshalltown; 12:30pm start time, details here.
2/14: State Dinner at Dos Rios after the meet
2/16: Team Banquet at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepard, 6:00pm start time.

Rails Championship Season Underway!

The 2014-15 boys swim season is starting to come to a close, with the conference championship taper swimmers ending this coming weekend, and the district taper swimmers looking at qualifying to the state meet at districts on 2/7. To kick off taper season the team got together and did their annual Mo-hawk and bleaching dinner party after practice on 1/19! This has become a tradition with the Rails swim team, and all member look forward to shaving their heads in the coming weeks!

Jim Voss Invite Wrap Up
Congratulations to those swimmers that traveled over to Cedar Rapids to swim in the big Jim Voss Invitational on Saturday 1/17! The team swam well, and were highlighted be these guys earning their SUB shirts!

Sub :55: Devin Greenwood
Sub :60: Miguel Espinoza and Nicholas Worthington

Up Next:
1/24 at 12:30pm; Metro Conference Championship Meet at Lincoln
2/7 at 12:30pm; District Championship Meet at Roosevelt HS

Rails Win Thriller over Indianola

A back and forth meet through out the evening at the Lincoln High School Pool meant a final relay event where the only place that mattered was first. With Lincoln up with one event left, it was a winner take all relay for both teams, and the Lincoln Rails came away with a one second win in the 400 freestyle relay to ensure the win! The relay team of Worth, Greenwood, Chidley, Belden set a season best time in the relay and moved in to the top 24 in the state for that event.

Final Score
Lincoln Rails: 88
Indianola: 82

The Rails swim team is now 5-0 on the season in dual meets, with one meet remaining against conference foe Roosevelt. Following the last dual the team starts to concentrate on the championship portion of the season, including the Jim Voss Invitational, Conference Championship at Lincoln, Districts and then hopefully state!

Meet Highlights
We can’t recap all of the great performances, so here’s just a few:

  • Medley Relay (Greenwood, Whitehead, Chidley, Worth) took first place with a season best 1:47.94
  • Miguel Espinoza went a 2.08 in the 200 and 5.55 in the 500, swimming both events for the first time!
  • Nicholas Worthington dropped 11 seconds in the 500, going a 5.47!
  • Drew Garrett dropped 7 seconds in the IM with a time of 2.34!
  • Tom Chidley won the fly with a season best time of 57.68

Up Next:
1/13: Dual Meet at Roosevelt
1/17: Jim Voss Invite at Cedar Rapids Washington
1/24: Metro Conference Championship at Lincoln HS


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