Margaret Rhodes glides through the water in the breaststroke leg of the 200 individual medley on her way to a gold medal in 2:21.84 in the North Central Conference swim meet Saturday.  (Photo courtesy of Amy Bruening)
Margaret Rhodes glides through the water in the breaststroke leg of the 200 individual medley on her way to a gold medal in 2:21.84 in the North Central Conference swim meet Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Amy Bruening)

Saturday marked the fourth time in five years, and the 13th in school history, the Decorah girls swim team has earned the North Central Conference swim title with 443 points. Favored to win by 90 points was Boone, who finished as the runner-up with 393 points.

“The girls came into the meet determined to come home the conference champion. The girls rose to the occasion and raced every race to their fullest potential. I saw so much determination in this team through the entire meet,” said Coach Allie Bachelder. “We were able to switch a few people around to maximize our points and came out on top.  I couldn’t be prouder of our group of girls. This put us 10th in the state.”

Due to COVID-19, the teams were split into two groups, with the Vikings hosting Boone and Grinnell, while Vinton-Shellsburg, Williamsburg and Oskaloosa competed at Williamsburg.

Decorah rolled through the day, collecting five gold medals.

Julia Alberts was the first to swim away with a title in the 200 freestyle. The sophomore touched the wall first in 2:01.18. In the next event, the 200 individual medley, it was Margaret Rhodes clocking in at 2:21.84 to stand atop the podium. Joining in the gold-medal efforts was Emily Voyna in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:00.58. In 5:39.09, the champion was sophomore Katerina Kovarik in the 500 freestyle.

One relay, the 200 freestyle, took first in 1:44.97. Members of the winning team were Voyna, Maeley Nefzger, Alberts and Paige Werner.

Four other events claimed silver during the conference meet including Brinley Krivachek in the 1 meter diving competition, Voyna in the 50 freestyle, Alberts in the 100 freestyle and the 400 freestyle relay of Voyna, Alberts, Werner and Kovarik.

The Viking swimmers have one additional regular season meet Thursday, Oct. 22 at Waterloo East at 6 p.m. Varsity regional competition will begin with the divers Thursday, Nov. 5, at Dubuque Hempstead at 6 p.m.  The swimmers will compete in the regional Saturday, Nov. 7, also at Dubuque Hempstead 12 p.m. Other teams who will be in the water versus Decorah include Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Dubuque Hempstead, Dubuque Senior, Dubuque Wahlart, Waterloo and Vinton-Shellsburg.