It was standing room only as the Stormin' Viking swim team was back in action Tuesday evening battling both sickness and the Decorah Vikings in a home dual at the Braille School pool. With a couple of late scratches due to illness and a revamped line-up the swimmers battled hard but fell to Decorah 51-42 in a tightly contested meet.
The evening started out on a positive note with Vinton-Shellsburg winning the 160 yard Medley Relay The team of Bradyn Schlief, Carter Kirtz, Ian Allsup and Logan Zearley edged Decorah in an exciting race while setting a new school pool record time of 1:21.00. The two teams went back and forth over the next three events with Vinton swimmers Allsup and Schlief finishing 1st and 2nd in the 60 Free to pull the home team into a 17-17 tie at the first break.
The second session started well as Kirtz won the 100 Butterfly and Allsup captured first in the 100 Free. The second session ended with the Stormin Vikes placing first in third in the 160 Free Relay to edge within 3 points of Decorah, trailing 35-32 at the break.
Wesley Farrell swam a strong 100 back followed by Carter Kirtz winning the 100 Breast to keep Vinton-Shellsburg close, trailing 44-39 entering the final event of the evening. But the Decorah squad proved too strong as they hung on to win the 320 Free Relay and clinch the victory.
Missing some key guys was tough, but so many other guys stepped up to help fill the void as the team set 32 new personal best times on the season in addition to breaking the team's pool record in the Medley Relay. Leading the way on personal bests were first-year sophomores Emmett Colsch and Hunter Kempton with four each. Allsup, Zearley, Ryan Williams, Blake Soquet, Wes Farrell and Brayden Beck each chipped in with three new best times.
The team will stay busy with two meets in the next week, Saturday at Waterloo and next Tuesday at Grinnell.