MACR Sharks shine at State

Hunter Kramer of Monticello competes in the backstroke for the Metro Area Cedar Rapids (MACR) swim team at the Iowa YMCA State Swimming Meet March 3 in Marshalltown. (Photo courtesy of Timothy Flynn Photography)

Three Monticello girls were part of the MACR team that combined with the boys to win the YMCA state meet. From left are Maddy Fischer of Anamosa, coach Bailey Strausser, Gabi Barnhart and Karle Kramer of Monticello, Rachel Rhomberg of Cascade, and Rylee Bauer of Monticello. (Photo submitted)
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     Eight Monticello swimmers were part of the Metro Area Cedar Rapids (MACR) Sharks team that won an overall championship at the Iowa YMCA State Swimming Championships March 2-3 in Marshalltown.

     The meet combines scores from boys’ and girls’ swimmers to name an overall team winner.

     Monticello boys who swam included Hunter Kramer, Dylan Ponder, Connor Hynick, Sullivan Flynn, and Brock Westphal.

     The girls involved were Karle Kramer, Rylee Bauer and Gabi Barnhart.

     Sharks head coach Bailey Strausser said the team’s willingness to work hard was a big factor in the championship.

     “I believe we have swimmers that truly want to become better swimmers and athletes as a whole,” Strausser said. “They show up to practice and work hard. They feel the happy times as well as the bad times. This drives them to set goals and make strides toward achieving those goals. Our individual swimmers had several time drops and regional qualifying times.”

     Just getting to practice was a major goal of swim teams across the State of Iowa.

     “We were challenged this year with the weather. We missed several practices, so the kids had to step up and make it to lap swim outside of normal practice times,” Strausser said. “This allowed them to keep up with their yardage, and it showed at the state meet.”

     It was the final meet for Hunter Kramer, a Monticello High School senior who has been involved with Monticello’s youth swimming program for more than 10 years.

     “Hunter is a spectacular team member,” Strausser said. “He has always showed up to the meets ready to swim, regardless of outside influences. He comes to practice, keeps his head down and respects his coaches and teammates.

     “He dropped time in his individual races, which was a big accomplishment to go out on. Hunter will be successful in his future as a college student, and whatever he decides to pursue beyond that.”

     Strausser is in her third year coaching the MACR Sharks. Jill Flynn is the assistant coach.


March 2-3

YMCA State Swim


(at Marshalltown)


     Girls 11-12: Gabi Barnhart, 17th in 100 freestyle; Ava Lichtenstein, Olivia Houlihan, Gabi Barnhart, Josie Barber, ninth in 200 free relay.

     Girls 13-14: Karle Kramer, 10th in 50 free; 11th in 200 free.

     Girls 15-21: Rachel Rhomberg, Rylee Bauer, Cora Wheeler, Karle Kramer 12th in 200 medley relay; Rylee Bauer, Rachel Rhomberg, Christine Mudanya, Cora Wheeler 12th in 200 free relay.

     Boys 11-12: Brock Westphal, 10th in 50 free; 11th in 50 breaststroke, Marcus Seifert, Josef Briesmeister, Sheppard West, Brock Westphal third in 200 medley relay; Marcus Seifert, Josef Briesmeister, Brock Westphal, Sheppard West, third in 200 free relay.

     Boys 13-14: Dylan Ponder eighth in 50 free, 13th in 100 free, 13th in 100 backstroke; Connor Hynick 13th in 50 free, 17th in 100 free, 19th in 100 back; Sullivan Flynn 15th in 50 free; Seth Williams, Anthony Lee, Ian Lucas, Connor Hynick third in 200 free relay; Ian Lucas, Seth Williams, Anthony Lee, Connor Hynick fourth in 200 medley relay; Sullivan Flynn, Michael Briesmeister, Parker Gammill, Dylan Ponder fifth in 200 free relay; Parker Gammill, Brian Foerester, Dylan Ponder, Sullivan Flynn eighth in 200 medley relay; Michael Briesmeister, Ryan Vig, Alex Harris, Reece Drew 13th in 200 medley relay.

     Boys 15-21: Hunter Kramer ninth in 100 back, 14th in 50 free.


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