MARION — Expect anything different?
Kevin Kretz didn't just wrap up his high school swimming career in style, winning two more individual medals on Saturday at the Iowa High School boys state swimming meet, but did so in record fashion.
Kretz lowered his own school record in the 50 freestyle, earning a medal in the race for the second straight year after placing sixth on Saturday in 21.3 seconds. Kretz also placed in the top 10 of the 100 freestyle, finishing seventh in 46.79 seconds coming within 0.6 seconds of breaking Jeff Bratten's 17-year school record in that event.
It's the second straight year that Kretz has finished in the top 10 of the 100 freestyle, having finished eighth at state in the race last season in 47.22 seconds. Kretz medaled in the 50 freestyle for the first time despite initially breaking Rod Starkweather's 1983 school record at last year's state meet.
Kretz has lowered the school record time twice this year, improving on last weekend's 21.37-second swim in the 50 free. Saturday's swim of 21.3 gives Kretz caps a record-setting stretch of late-season swims including setting the pool record three weeks earlier in the 50 free at the CIML Metro Conference meet, where Kretz had conference-record swims in the 50 freestyle (21.89) and 100 freestyle (47.94).
Ottumwa finished 18th in the state meet as a team with 25 points, all coming in the two individual swims by Kretz. Armel Bazin, making his one and only trip to the Iowa High School boys state swimming meet, finished 24th in the 100 freestyle as the OHS transfer student finished the two-lap race in 48.4 seconds.
Bazin and Kretz were also part of Ottumwa's two state-qualifying relay teams along with senior Maxwell Thomason. Joined by Nathan Calhoun, the Ottumwa 200 free relay team placed 20th in 1:32.02 with Kretz swimming the third-fastest split in 20.86 seconds before Carson Shively joined in to help OHS close the season with a 19th-place swim of 3:21.77 in the closing 400 free relay race.
In his very last swim for Ottumwa, Kretz swam a 46.03 anchor split in the 400 relay. Plans are being made for Kretz to be honored for the second straight year at Mike McWilliams Pool for setting an Ottumwa boys swimming record. The official date and time have yet to be announced.