Recap: Senior swimmers go out in style

For Monticello Swimming and Diving, this season was about one thing and one thing only. Finishing what they’d started. With a team built not necessarily for duals, but to compete with the state’s best, the Magic spent the year gearing up for another top performance at the Class A State Meet.
They entered the meet with the highest expectations, and therefore the most pressure, that they ever have. And with good reason. The Magic, led by Paul Fair, had brought home eight individual state championships in the past two years, and were coming off a second place team finish.
Fair and his fellow classmates were seniors, and Monticello didn’t want to settle for anything less than they’d already accomplished.
So they didn’t.
The Magic overcame the nerves as soon as they jumped in the pool and cruised to victory in four more state tournament races. Fair won the 100 Fly and the 200 Free with room to spare, while the 200 and 400 Free relay teams of Evan Lahr, Jack Fair, Blaise Nyberg and Paul Fair dominated their races, making it three straight years of four state championships. As a team, Monticello added another second-place trophy to the mantle.
“It was probably the most nervous that I’ve been in my coaching career,” said Coach Dirk Westveer, about the days leading up to the state meet. “But by Saturday [championship day], the nerves were pretty much gone. We just went into it with the attitude of a champion. This is mine, and I’m going to take what’s mine. That’s how you have to approach it.”
For their efforts, an outstanding senior class will exit the swimming and diving scene without peers in the Monticello record books, and with three current state records, very few peers to be found anywhere in Class A history.
And still, as any great program will do, Monticello already has its eyes on the future.
“We lose star power, we lose leadership and all of that stuff,” said Westveer. “But, tradition never graduates. It’s a great group that we’ve got coming back. We got some great things going here, and that doesn’t go away.”