MARSHALLTOWN – Once again, the motto for the Atlantic girls’ swim team is: Little but loud.

Going to this weekend’s state swimming meet at the Marshalltown Family YMCA with just five girls over four events, two of them relays, the Trojans are out to top their 12th-place team finish from a year ago.

Confidence abounds among coach Dean Junker’s team.

“Overall, I’d say we did really good out there,” said Aleah Hermansen, one of two Audubon students who swims for Atlantic. “Our relays we’re really preparing for them and we went out and did what we needed to.”

The Trojans are coming off a sixth-place finish at the state qualifying meet in Johnston, where Clare Christensen led the way with a second-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle in 24.22, and a third-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle in 53.17. Both times have her seeded eighth.

Anna Lowary comes in with the No. 24 seed in the 500-yard freestyle (5:20.32) and 17th-best time in the 200-yard freestyle (1:57.87). The two times were fifth- and third-best from the SQM regional.

Both relays were third at the SQM – the 200-yard freestyle in 1:40.76, and the 400-yard freestyle in 3:42.29, and have them ranked 12th and 16th, respectively. Both teams will have Hermansen, Lowary and Christensen in the relays, with Alexes Reynolds in the 400 and Kate Landhuis in the 200 swimming the other leg.

Relays have been the strong suit.

“It’s not surprising that we get behind the block and do good because we’re all counting on each other and know the other person’s going to do their job,” said Lowary.

“We’ve been working really hard in the water because we know there’s going to be good competition, like those (Class 4A) and 5A schools we’ll swim against,” she said. “We did what we needed to in the water at regionals and now we just need to do the same thing at state.”

Junior Bryer Rose and sophomore Ava Bruckner will be making the trip too, as alternates.

Reynolds, who is making her first trip to state, hopes to use this as a learning experience and build for the future.

“I’m going to know what it is and build for the future,” she said.

For Lowary and Christensen, it’s their fourth and final trip to the state meet, and both hope to go out in a flourish of glory.

“I hope to go to state and drop some time and hit my goals, and I really hope my teammates will do the same,” said Lowary.

Today’s portion of the state swimming meet includes preliminary races for the individual events. The top 16 in each advance to Saturday’s competition. The diving portion of the event – Atlantic does not have a diver – will also take place Friday.

All 32 qualifying teams for each relay event will compete Saturday, as there are no prelims.

To reach Brian Rathjen, send correspondence to or phone (712) 243-2624.