Charles City’s Nia Litterer qualifies in 4 state meet events while swimming for Mason City
By John Burbridge
CHARLES CITY — Roughly, it’s about 85 miles from Charles City to the Marshalltown YMCA where the State Girls Swimming Meet is taking place Friday and Saturday.
But for Nia Litterer to make that trip as a state qualifier, she had to travel much farther — about 120 miles total on some days.
“For practice, I would drive down there after school and then drive back,” said Charles City junior Litterer, who swims for the Mason City Mohawks girls team, “but sometimes we also had practice in the mornings, so I would have to drive back and forth before school.”
It wasn’t all that bad, Litterer says, as she would often carpool with other Charles City/Mason City swimmers.
But lately, Litterer has had to make the trips on her own due to the distinction of being the lone Charles City swimmer who has qualified for state.
In state meets before, Litterer was part of numerous Mohawk relay teams. This year is much the same as she is in the lineup for Mason City’s 200 and 400 freestyle relays, and the 200 medley relay.
Charles City junior Morgan Haus is listed as an alternate on both the free relays; and Charles City senior Lauren Connell is an alternate on the medley relay.
Litterer also qualified in the 100 butterfly, her strongest event. It’s the first time she qualified as an individual.
Charles City scuttled its swim program before Litterer entered high school. She has swam with Mason City since she was a freshman.
In a more perfect world, Litterer would have much rather swam for her own high school and not have to endure the early-morning and after-school back-and-forth commutes, “but they have good coaches in Mason City who have helped me a lot,” she says.
After state, Litterer will have an opportunity to swim closer to home as she is a returning member of the Charles City YMCA Swim Team, which has already started its season.
At last season’s YMCA State Meet, Litterer placed third in the 50 butterfly in the Girls 15-21 division with a personal-best time of 28.39.
Nia’s older brother, Nick Litterer, set three YMCA State Meet records last March. Nick has continued his swimming career at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
“I plan on swimming in college, too,” Nia said.