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Martin, Comer leads NCMP to third at NCC meet

Jan. 28—GRINNELL — Finn Martin set two conference records, Ethan Comer also won two individual events and the Newton-Colfax-Mingo-Pella boys' swim team placed third at the North Central Swim Conference meet on Saturday.

The Cardinals registered eight top-five finishes in all and the 200-yard freestyle relay team set a season-best time by 3 seconds and rocketed up the standings in second at Grinnell College.

NCMP scored 297.5 points in third and edged host Grinnell, which scored 289 points in fourth.

Decorah, which sits No. 23 in the latest Bound power rankings, won the conference title with 472.5 points. No. 17 Boone was second with 448.

Drew Fuller

The rest of the eight-team field featured No. 28 Vinton-Shellsburg (202), No. 36 Williamsburg (168), No. 45 Centerville (134) and No. 46 Oskaloosa (109).

NCMP started the day ranked No. 29 and Grinnell was No. 25.

Martin's wins came in the 50-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly. His winning times set new conference records in both events.

Martin, who was voted as the NCSC Swimmer of the Year, won the 50 freestyle with a time of 21.54 seconds and he posted a career-best time of 51.3 in the 100 fly. That time moves him up to sixth in the state.

Comer started his day with a win in the 200 individual medley and ended it with a victory in the 100 breaststroke.

His winning time in the 200 IM was clocked in 2 minutes, 12.4 seconds.

Blaine Brooks

The 100 breaststroke was much more competitive as the top four finishers were separated by less than a second. Comer won the race in 1:05.39, the runner-up went 1:05.85 and the next fastest times were 1:05.97 and 1:06.17.

MacK Copeland scored the other top-three finish in an individual event. He was third in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:00.31.

The Cardinals' best relay finish came in the 200 freestyle. The team of Martin, Caleb Punt, Comer and Copeland finished second and posted a season-best time of 1:32.37, which is the 16th fastest time in the state. Boone won the event in 1:31.18.

In the 400 freestyle relay, the team of Copeland, Mason Gaulke, Punt and Martin finished third in a season-best 3:31.72, which ranks 28th in the state.

Boone won the 400 freestyle relay in 3:22.44 and Grinnell was the runner-up in 3:29.11.

NCMP was fifth in the 200 medley relay. The team of Drew Fuller, Comer, Punt and Derek Wermager posted a time of 1:55.55. Decorah (1:44.25) edged Grinnell (1:44.26) for the win.

Evan Marshall

Decorah won the conference meet after going 1-3 in the 500 freestyle, 2-4 in the 200 freestyle and 1-4 in the 200 medley relay.

Boone finished 1-2 in the 100 freestyle, 1-5 in the 200 freestyle and 2-4 in the 200 IM and 500 freestyle and won both freestyle relay events.