Boys’ Swim Team Makes Waves this Season

Atlantic High School’s Boys’ Swim Team is improving this season.


Elizabeth Anderson

OUT OF BREATH- Freshman Hunter Quist talks to his mom after his race. Quist’s mom was helping with the meet while cheering him on.

Katie Birge, Editor

The boys swimming season has been thriving for the past two months. According to Dean Junker, the high school boys, and girls swim team and YMCA Flying Sharks’ team Coach, the boys swim team has swum all their invitationals and duals this year. The boys have had a total of eight swim meets so far, according to, a site that all coaches report to. According to Junker, on Saturday, February 4, at Johnston, Sectionals will take place. Sectionals is a meet where they are up against every swimmer in the state, which will determine if the Boy’s Swim team will go to State. The meet will start at noon, and end by around three. The top 32 times in individuals and the top 24 times in relays get to go to State. “So the boys have to swim, and be one of the top times,” Junker said. Although he doesn’t believe they will make it to State, he thinks they “will continue to improve.” Junker said, “it’d be nice if we had somebody qualify for State, but I think we might get close but I don’t think we’ll make it.”

Junker believes their worst swim meet this season was the first swim meet in Boone. He believed this swim meet was bad because this was the first time they swam in a meet. “They were inexperienced, [they] hadn’t had a lot of time in the water yet,” Junker said. “They weren’t in very good shape, and they just didn’t do very well at all.” He said that the boys jumped on their relays. “They got called for it,” Junker said, “I had one that had an illegal cap. I had one that was wearing his watch. I mean it’s all stuff they’ve got to learn.” He said that they have to do it correctly, otherwise they’ll get disqualified.

Junker said he believes the boys would say the best meet this season was in Hoover. They won every relay, and two boys won individual events. “It was a good day at Hoover,” Junker said. “They see their times really drop. They did really well, but we didn’t even come close to winning the meet. I think of all the teams we were third,” Junker said. He explained that some of the reason for this was because of the low number of members on the swim team. “You can’t score the points without the kids you know, but they understand that, and they’re happy.” Junker said that there are eleven total events. In a dual event, they can have three kids per event. If other teams are to take those sports, they can outscore you “point-wise.” “That’s kind of a hard pill to swallow sometimes, but the boys, they understand that,” Junker said.

Another meet the boys swam in was against Sioux City and Waukee was held on Tuesday, January 4. “We host a triangular meet at our old pool because I’ve got a friend that coaches at Waukee, and I’ve got a friend up in Sioux City,” Junker said. Atlantic hosts this meet because Sioux City and Waukee are far apart, so unless they have this meet, they never get to swim against each other. “So we have them come to Atlantic, and we have a triangular meet, where we each have two swimmers in each event and we swim this meet,” Junker said. Waukee is a really good swim team, racking up great awards and titles within the past few years. They are also on their way to being the state champions this year. “They’re just a tremendous swim team, and it’s just fun to have them in the building and watch the kids swim,” Junker said. Waukee ended up winning the meet. “Waukee won it, but the Sioux City coach was just elated because his kids got to swim against the good competition,” Junker said. Overall, Junker believed this meet was really fun.

Freshman Hunter Quist, a Boy’s Swim Team member, believes that this season his times have improved. “[At] the Boone meet, I was swimming the 100 backstroke for a relay team and I was swimming, like a 1:05, and that was like my personal best,” Quist said. Last year, when he was on the YMCA Flying Sharks team, he was swimming about a 1:10 or a 1:12. “So I dropped like five seconds in that,” Quist said. However, he went back to swimming [at] about a 1:15.  He said that this season he is taking a break from swimming backstroke. “I was kind of bummed out that I didn’t do that, but I did get to swim a 200 freestyle, and a 100 freestyle,” Quist said, “I dropped times in both of those.” Junior Parker Brock, another Boy’s Swim Team member, had a goal to cut down his times this season. “It may not seem like much, but cutting seconds off of your race times is pretty big,” Brock said. In a 50-yard freestyle race, he used to swim it in about 41 to 42 seconds. He cut that down by about four or five seconds, so now he swims the 50-yard freestyle race in about 36 to 35 seconds. “That was mainly my goal for this season,” Brock said, “so far I’ve pretty much met it.”

Despite not winning any swim meets this season, Junker is proud of the boys. He is especially proud of two Rieken boys, Kyler and Keaton from Riverside, and Alex Lihs from Clarina. He is also proud of Quist. “He’s not very big, you know,” Junker said. “It’s tough for him, but he’s got a big heart, and he’s improved a lot.” He believes that those four boys have done a nice job this year. “It’s been a real enjoyable year, this year because we had a lot of improvement from the first time we got into the water until now,” Junker said. Next season, he is hoping that more seniors will join and that their times will continue to improve.