For the second straight year, Keokuk boys swimmer, Dylan Jones, will be representing the Chiefs at the State Swimming Meet, in not one, but two different competitions.
Head coach Mercedes Hawkins said she was incredibly excited while watching Jones compete this past weekend.
“My adrenaline was rushing from the side of the pool,” Hawkins said. “When I looked at the timing system, I had to a double and even a triple look.”
Jones posted a time in the 100 yard Breaststroke of 58.35 seconds, setting a new personal best by about four seconds. At the time, it was also the number one time in the entire state in the event and landed him the district title.
He also finished second and qualified for state in the 200 yard Individual Medley with a time of one minute and 58 seconds, good for sixth in the state.
Hawkins said Jones’ effort was amazing in the pool in the district competition
“He just went all out, wild on his events,” Hawkins said.
Keokuk Activities Director Zach Summers said the school is incredibly proud of Jones as well.
“You know he’s going to represent us well this coming weekend and he’s got a chance to bring home a state championship for us,” Summers said.
One thing that Hawkins said may have had an impact was the fact they spent much of the last week focusing more on the mental side of things.
Jones is also very strong in Linn-Mar Aquatic Center’s pool according to Hawkins.
“He loves this pool, he’s comfortable with this pool and you can tell whenever he jumps in,” Hawkins said.
Last year, Jones finished 13th and 14th in the state and Hawkins believes he will finish much better this year based on his times.
“He’ll definitely make that podium in both of his events, no doubt about it. We’ll definitely be bringing home some medals,” Hawkins said.
Summers said Jones is an incredibly hard worker and it is his work outside of the season that helps set him apart.
“I don’t think people know how hard he works to get performances like he had last weekend,” Summers said.
Not only is the school and team behind him Jones, but Hawkins said it is a very uplifting story for him to have this kind of success.
“I think it’s a huge inspiration and motivator that this small town swimmer is coming up into the state meet and rising up with these big schools and competing with them,” Hawkins said.
“I actually know quite a few people that are coming up to Iowa City to watch him so it seems like we have quite a bit of support.”
The meet will begin at the University of Iowa Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Saturday at 12 PM.
The 200 yard Individual Medley will be the third event of the day while the 100 yard Breaststroke is scheduled for event number 10.