Boys Swimming: Wingers put 7 individual events into finalsMINNEAPOLIS — Multiple members of the Red Wing boys swimming and diving team qualified for finals with top times at the Class A boys state swimming and diving prelims Friday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
MINNEAPOLIS — Multiple members of the Red Wing boys swimming and diving team qualified for finals with top times at the Class A boys state swimming and diving prelims Friday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
The Wingers put both 200-yard freestyle and 400 freestyle relay teams through to the final heat today and seven individuals will compete in the finals. The top 16 individuals in each event make finals and the top 16 relay teams in each event.
Red Wing’s 400 freestyle relay closed out the prelims on a high note by winning its heat and finishing third overall. The Wingers are seeded for finals behind only Monticello in second and St. Thomas Academy in first.
It was a season-best time for the team of senior Connor O’Keefe, senior Andrew Berg, junior Adam Sienczak and sophomore Tanner Alms and Red Wing head coach Gene Petersen said he could see them dropping even more time.
“We’re not going to worry about the place,” he said. “But we’ve got business to take care of.”
The top two teams will be tough to catch but in state meets nothing can be taken for granted, O’Keefe said.
“They look invincible but you never know,” he said. “There are no flukes. Don’t let up. You got nothing to lose.”
Petersen said he was pleased with the Wingers during a fast state meet but they still have room for improvement.
“We’re going to drop time tomorrow,” Petersen said. “Both our relay teams are going to drop time.”
Alms made finals in both his individual events. In addition to both relays, Alms will compete Saturday in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle. He finished prelims in third place in the 500 freestyle and will be pushed to defend his Class A state title. He won his heat in the 500 freestyle but didn’t take control until the final lap and won by .37 of a second.
O’Keefe said he wrote off any chance of making finals in the 100 freestyle after finishing seventh in his heat but out-swimming Faribault’s Brady Bresnahan by one one-hundredth of a second, O’Keefe advanced to Saturday’s competition with a 16th place finish.
“It’s a ridiculously fast meet this year,” O’Keefe said. “Last year, (my time) was top six.”
O’Keefe also qualified in the 200 freestyle.
Sienczak made finals with a 13th place finish in the 200 freestyle but just missed finals competition in the 100 freestyle. His 100 freestyle time was still a personal best, Petersen said.
“His goal was to break 50 (seconds) this year and he did,” Petersen said of Sienczak. “That time would have made top eight last year.”
Senior Andrew Berg moved on with an 11th place finish in the 200 individual medley and sophomore Ethan Myers came in 10th place to advance in the 500 freestyle.
With all but one event qualifying for finals, Petersen said he’s looking forward to making a statement for the seniors.
“It’s nice, we’re got a great group of seniors,” Petersen said. “We’ll send them out in style tomorrow.”
Finals competition starts at noon today.