By John Burbridge firstname.lastname@example.org
CHARLES CITY — Nick Litterer didn’t make a Joe Namath-like prediction that he was going to break the YMCA State Swimming Meet record in the 50 backstroke and “guarantee it”. But he pretty much guaranteed that the eight-year-old record was going to fall at the annual event held at the Marshalltown YMCA this past weekend.
It was just a matter of who was going to end up holding it.
With the former Boys 15-21 record being 25.83 seconds, Litterer had already bested it by nearly a second during a qualifying meet. But so had several other swimmers in the state.
“So it will likely come down to who wins the race for who is going to be the record-holder,” Litterer had said before the state meet.
Sure enough, Gavin Hall from the Dubuque YMCA and Ethan Heiter from the Spencer YMCA both managed to better the former mark by less than a 10th of a second. But they had to respectively settle for second- and third-place medals as Litterer got the gold and the title of new record-holder with a first-place time of 25.11.
Litterer also thought he had a shot at the 200 freestyle state meet record in his age group. Earlier during the High School State Swim Meet where he had a hand in helping Mason City High School score all 40 of its team points, Litterer recorded a time that would-be a YMCA State Swim Meet record if duplicated.
Sure enough again, Litterer swam a 1:45.43 to win the event and set another record.
Though everything seemed to go as planned for Litterer, he didn’t anticipate a third gold-medal record-breaking performance in Marshalltown.
“I knew I had a good chance at the 50 back and 200 free,” Litterer said, “but I didn’t expect to do as well in the 100 back.”
Litterer not only obliterated his personal-best in the event, he obliterated the old record by a second and the nearest competitor by 5 seconds.
(Five-second margin of victory in a 100-yard swimming race is like Duke vs. Virginia Union.)
Litterer’s time of 52.7 in the 100 back qualifies him for the YMCA National Swim Meet next month in North Carolina.
“I’m not going to be able to make it there,” said Litterer, who just swam his last YMCA meet but the Charles City HS senior plans to continue his swimming career at University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.
Nia Litterer, Nick’s sister, also medaled at the state meet by placing third in the 50 butterfly in the Girls 15-21 division with a personal-best time of 28.39.
Overall, the Charles City YMCA was able to field 12 state qualifiers including Stephen Bachman, Kiki Connell, AnneMarie Hansen, Bennett Hansen, Morgan Haus, Isaak Jensen, Kelsey Kane, Ryan Kvernevig, Katlyn Marty and Trent Rodruck. It was the biggest group of state qualifiers since head coach Julie Marty took over the program three years ago.
“They all did fantastic this season,” Marty said. “Just about everyone recorded a PR.”