Wednesday, July 29, 2015
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Linn-Mar High School - Marion, Iowa

Drake makes U.S. Trials in 100 fly

Kelsey Drake has reached another major milestone in her remarkable swimming career.

Drake turned in an impressive performance at the Iowa state swimming long course championships in Iowa City Saturday and has qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100 meter butterfly.

Drake was timed in 1:01.17 in the preliminaries of the 100-meter butterfly Saturday morning to meet the qualifying time for the U.S. Trials of 1:01.19, making the standard by 2-hundredths of a second. She placed second in the finals of the 100 fly Saturday night.

The U.S. Olympic Trials will be held in Omaha next June in preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, next August.

Drake, entering her junior year at Linn-Mar High School, is one of the youngest swimmers to qualify for the Olympic Trials.

"It's an amazing accomplishment," said Brian Ruffles, her coach with the Linn-Mar Swim Club. "It's something that she's wanted ever since she was 12 years old. It's a huge accomplishment in her career."

Last Updated on Monday, 27 July 2015 16:51



Lions finish 8th at state softball

FORT DODGE - The Linn-Mar Lions came home empty-handed from the Class 5A state softball tournament Wednesday.

The Lions lost to Bettendorf, 3-1, and fell to Ankeny, 9-0, in consolation games and finished last in the eight-team field.

Linn-Mar lost to Cedar Rapids Jefferson, 6-3, in the opening round Monday.

The Lions collected only seven hits in the two games Wednesday. Morgan Braughton had two hits in the 3-1 loss to Bettendorf.

DoniRae Mayhew hit a two-run homer and tossed a four-hitter with six strikeouts for Bettendorf. Maddy Ryan pitched a complete game for Linn-Mar with five hits, five walks and two strikeouts.

Olivia Brooks went 3-for-4 with five RBIs for Ankeny in its 9-0 victory over the Lions. Brooks had a two-run double and a three-run homer in the onslaught.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 July 2015 20:56



Cedar Falls ousts Lions in thriller

Long after hearing their final postgame talk of the season, the Linn-Mar baseball team was still milling around the home plate area of their home diamond.

The Lions simply did not want to leave the field Monday night.

"This is the kind of team you'd like to always have one more game with," said Linn-Mar Coach Chad Lechner. "They are such a great group to be around."

Try as they might, the Lions could not come through to earn one more game. Steven Skidmore's RBI single in the top of the 11th inning plated Dakota Schiefelbein with what proved to be the winning run as Cedar Falls ended Linn-Mar's season with a 7-6 victory in a Class 4A substate semifinal.

The victory moves the Tigers (22-13) opposite top-seed Kennedy (28-11) in Wednesday's substate final set for 7 p.m. at Kennedy's Herkelman Field.



J-Hawks cherish win over Lions at state

FORT DODGE - Alyssa Olson has pitched better games during her all-stateĀ career with the Jefferson J-Hawks, but few have felt as sweet as this one did Monday afternoon.

Olson tossed a complete game as the third-ranked J-Hawks topped Linn-Mar, 6-3, in the opening round of the Class 5A state tournament at Harlan Rogers Park in Fort Dodge.

Olson and the J-Hawks lost in the opening round of the state tournament in 2013 and 2014, so this was the last chance for Olson and the rest of the Jefferson seniors to reach the semifinals.

"It feels great," she said. "We knew coming into this game that it wasn't going to be easy, by any means. We knew that Linn-Mar was going to put up a fight and we were going to put up a fight."

Olson has enjoyed lots of big wins, including a 7-0 masterpiece with 13 strikeouts against Muscatine in the regional finals two years ago as a sophomore. Monday's victory was really big, too.



Olson, Ryan are foes now, teammates later

Alyssa Olson of Jefferson and Maddy Ryan of Linn-Mar will be teammates at Coe when they begin their college softball careers later this summer, but first they have some unfinished business to settle as high school players.

Olson and Ryan will pitch against each other Monday afternoon when Jefferson (35-7) faces Linn-Mar (25-17) in the opening round of the Class 5A state tournament in Fort Dodge.

First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

Ryan and the Lions nipped Olson and the J-Hawks, 3-2, when they pitched against each other in the first game of a Mississippi Valley Conference doubleheader at Linn-Mar on June 9.

Jefferson won the second game of that doubleheader, 14-4, and now the two Metro rivals will meet 150 miles away in Fort Dodge to settle the score for this season.


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