Beckman’s Jessica Then swims for Wahlert as part of a co-op program.

Sophomore swimmers from Beckman, Kelly Snyder and Jessica Then, not only cut times this season while competing in a co-op program with Wahlert, they gained valuable experience that should stand them in good stead as they enter their third year with the program next season.

Part of that experience was Snyder’s role on the 200-medley team that finished 20th at the IGHSAU State Meet in Marshalltown. During her leg, she swam her best-ever 50-breaststroke time, 33.02, cutting four full seconds from the time she began with as a freshman.

“Both Kelly and Jessie contributed many valuable team points as sophomores swimming varsity,” said coach Emily Snyder. “They are both two-year letterwinners and earned the perfect attendance award for this season, the only two swimmers on the team to do so. They, along with Beckman freshmen Mary McKean and Betsy Halligan, practiced 2.5 hours a day, five days a week with meets on Saturday as well. Then you add the drive time to Dubuque and home as well. I am extremely proud of their commitment and dedication.

“All four contributed to many relays throughout the season. Kelly earned 3,005 power points this year, Jesse 2,234, Mary 434 and Betsy 64. The points are based on a national swimming chart (NISCA). The faster you swim, the more points you earn, which help determine which athletes earn a varsity letter and which earn JV letters.

“Kelly cut times in her 200-IM (2:42.72 to 2:27.47), 100-breaststroke (1:19.42 to 1:15.48) and 50-breaststroke (37.15 to 33.02). Jessie cut in 500-free (6:13.86 to 6:08.47), 200-free 2:23.81 to 2:13.75) and 100-fly 1:11.05 to 1:09.83). Mary improved in the 100-free (1:11.30 to 1:06.64), 50-free (31.56 to 30.18), and 100-breaststroke (1:37.38 to 1:33.42) and the 200 Free(2:44.66 to 2:29.06). Betsy dropped in the 200-IM (3:42.23 to 3:21.29), 100-breaststroke (1:50.33 to 1:38.65) and the 100-free (1:27.26 to 1:22.50).”

Coach Snyder added, “This was the smallest team of my 23 years at Wahlert, 17 swimmers, but we ended at state and placed 26th at the one-class meet in Marshalltown. Kelly was the first Blazer to compete at state. And one of the team, junior Avery Schmidt, set a school varsity record in the 100 Back, swimming 56.95 at state to place seventh. That time is also the fastest all-time for any Dubuque high school swimmer.

“We graduate three seniors from the team, Jamie Schmid, Natalie Kelzer and Taylor Weig. All three were state qualifiers this year and will be greatly missed both in and out of the pool.

“I look for great things to come next season, especially from Avery and my Beckman girls. Jessie is a very versatile swimmer who competed in multiple events to benefit the team this year. She excels in butterfly and distance.

“Kelly improved a lot this season and was always cheering for her teammates both at practice and the meets. Mary joined the team three weeks into the season but improved daily. She will be a big asset in the coming year and gained valuable high school experience. Betsy dropped so much time this season. She was a different swimmer from the first day to the end of the season and has much to be proud.

“As you can see from their times, they all improved a lot and I look forward to what next season will bring. They made a big impact on the team as freshmen and sophomores and I look forward to the coming years with them.”