Courier sports staff
Grant Gullion finished his season by taking 24th in the 100 butterfly at the 2013 IHSAA State Swim meet Saturday with a time of 56.83.
“Yesterday was an amazing experience,” Ottumwa swim coach Heidi Owens said, “I had never taken a swimmer to state. Grant had a large group of fans there cheering him on and it was a very cool experience to be a part of.”
The junior swimmer was the only member of the Ottumwa boys team to qualify for state. R.J. Hemmingsen of Council Bluffs Lewis Central snared first in the butterfly with 50.25. For Gullion, it capped off a success-filled season where he was able to cut his butterfly time by over two seconds. To qualify for state, Gullion swam to a season-best butterfly time of 55.98 at district meets in Iowa City, thus accomplishing his season-long goal to finish the fly in under 56 seconds.
Gullion and the rest of the Bulldogs collectively enjoyed more success than the previous season’s squad. Ottumwa (3-5-1, 2-2-1) managed to win three duals this season, whereas last season they only secured one dual victory. The Bulldogs were especially proficient in relay races this season. The swimmers involved in the Bulldogs relay victories were Caleb Copple, Riley Hammel, Alex Christensen, Gullion and Adam Mueller. With the end of the season, the team says good-bye to departing seniors Thien Dinh, Etnyre, Alex Hardie, Coltt Lavelle, Nick Moreland and Mueller.
“It was an amazing group of guys who worked really hard all season,” Owens said.