Boys Swimming: Wingers' relay team breaks pool record
Red Wing boys swimming and diving head coach Gene Petersen used to call the 400-yard freestyle relay pool record one of the unbreakables on the wall in the pool at Twin Bluff Middle School.
He can't any more.
The relay team of Connor O'Keefe, Tanner Alms, Andrew Berg and Adam Sienczak broke the pool record Saturday at the Red Wing Invitational in the meet's final event with a time of 3 minutes, 18.8 seconds, besting the previous record of 3:20. No one had come within two seconds of the record since it was set, Petersen said.
"They deserve a ton of credit for it," Petersen said. "They were the ones that put the energy into the pool, but it was the rest of the team that provided the energy in the swim. That takes extraordinary circumstances and their teammates gave them those circumstances."
Petersen said it was the loudest he's heard the pool in at least three years as the relay approached the record time.
With the remainder of the team cheering on the other end of the pool, the Wingers got season best splits from all four legs and three of legs turned in lifetime bests as the relay broke a mark set in 1999 by Nick Brase, Nate Brase, Phil Kiczula and Arick Severson. That relay went on to set the state record at the state meet.
The record-breaking event capped off a stellar day for Red Wing as it won the meet with 755 points to edge out Mankato West, which scored 713 points.
The meet title remained up for grabs entering the 400 relay and the Wingers needed more than a record-breaking relay to secure the title. Red Wing did so by having its B relay place third and its C relay finish sixth. The B relay came into the event seeded fifth out of six relays. The C relay had the second best seed time of its heat but was eighth overall.
"I can close my eyes and point to someone on my roster and find things that they did well," Petersen said.
The Wingers swam under state and section cut times in several events, including the 200 medley relay, which eclipsed both. Berg swam faster in the 200 individual medley to win the event while Alms won the 500 free and Hunter Connolly won the 100 back.
Red Wing dropped lots of time in other events at the five-team invite. Eighth-grader Calvin Roth cut nine seconds in the 200 individual medley. Nolan Schmidt dropped 10 ½ seconds in the 100 breaststroke and Kyle McKim sliced off five seconds in the 200 individual medley to finish just shy of a section cut time.
Divers Seth Morem, Chris Byrne and Foster Johnson all set season bests as well for the Wingers.