Top sports stories 2009, No. 7: Fast team in fast suits
Swimming in the last Minnesota state tournament in which high-tech swimsuits were legal, the Red Wing boys team took full advantage. The Wingers donned Speedo FS-PRO Bodyskin suits and placed third overall -- first among the public schools -- at the Class A state championship March 7.
They won the program's first trophy since 2002.
Red Wing coach Gene Petersen surprised his swimmers by presenting them with the suits -- which were made of the same fabric used to construct the racing suits worn at the 2008 Summer Olympics -- during a motivational speech the day before the state swimming preliminaries.
"We were wide-eyed," senior Casey Murnane said. "We were extremely excited about it. We were dumbfounded."
The suits provided both a physical and mental edge at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
"You're putting in the effort like you normally do ... and you're just cruising along like faster than you could even imagine," senior Tyler Moulton said. "Combined with the shave and the taper and the new suits, you're faster than you've ever felt before."
Murnane took second in the 500-yard freestyle and third in the 200 individual medley. Kyle Engen, a junior, placed second in the 100 butterfly. Red Wing took second in the 200 medley relay and third in the 200 free relay.
Junior Turner Eckstrom also won the 1-meter diving competition (see the No. 3 and No. 1 stories).
The Wingers finished with 208 points. Breck/ Blake won with 296.
The National Federation of State High School Associations Swimming and Diving Rules Committee banned high-tech suits on Aug. 11 effective immediately.