Swim team competes at districts


Isabella Scales

Six Pella swimmers competed at the district meet at Southeast Polk High school.  Four swimmers qualified in two events and were set to compete at State.  These swimmers were a part of the NCMP team which is made up of girls from Newton, Colfax, Mingo, and Pella, hence the name NCMP. 

Unfortunately, the Newton school district paused all activities after deciding to go 100 percent virtual learning at the beginning of November because of the number of COVID-19 cases in Jasper County. For most of the NCMP swimmers, it was their end of the season. 

However, Matt Fouch, Pella High’s activities director, found a way to make a team for the Pella girls, and senior Natalie Boll, juniors Hannah Nedder, Emma Curry, Emily Mills, and sophomores Maylei Ruggles, and Emily Vander Molen competed at Districts on Nov. 6.

“I felt kind of guilty that not everyone could compete when the girls trained just as hard as we did.  We got the opportunity to compete, and they didn’t,” saidBoll. “Those two days [when Fouch was forming the Pella team] were kind of a roller coaster of emotions.  Nobody could swim.  Then we could swim, but they couldn’t swim.”

Nedder had already qualified for state earlier in the season in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 59.07. She was joined by three teammates during the District meet when their 400 freestyle relay was fast enough to claim a spot. 

The 400 freestyle relay team of sophomore Ruggles, senior Boll, junior Curry, and Nedder placed fourth at Districts with a time of 3 minutes and 52.81 seconds. 

Unfortunately their season was also cut short as some of the state qualifiers tested positive for Covid. 

“We were all pretty disappointed when we weren’t able to compete at state. However, we texted about it as a team, and we decided that in this year of unknowns we are so proud of making it all the way to districts (and qualifying for state),” said Nedder.  “The memories and friendships made this season will be what we cherish forever.”