After nearly a full season of exceeding expectations, the Magic swimming and diving team settled in and finished right around where they were expected to at the Class A State Meet this past weekend.
The Magic, who knew it would be tough to pick up medals this year, scored 36 points to finish in 20th place at the meet. Monticello didn’t take home any hardware, despite being tantalizingly close several times.
“We swam well,” said Coach Dirk Westveer. “We just missed on a couple of things.”
Final places are determined on Saturday, the last day of the meet. But who makes it on the medal stand is determined during the preliminary swims Friday, when teams have to qualify to get into the final (medal) heat.
Monticello had a couple of near misses.
The closest race was the 200-yard freestyle relay. Monticello finished ninth (1:30.53) with their best time of the year, as they were out touched by Sartell (in a different heat) by just .17 seconds.
That difference left Monticello in a consolation heat on Saturday, rather than competing for a guaranteed medal. The relay team, made up of Connor Hangsleben, Lawrence Krause, Michael Carriveau, and Blaise Nyberg, would finish 13th in the final round.
The 400 free relay team, made up of the same four swimmers, also came agonizingly close to the medal stand. Swimming the last event of the day, the Magic again finished in ninth place. Their time of 3:21.15, 3.5 seconds better than their previous best time this year, was just over a second out of the top eight.
The 400 free team came back Saturday and earned another 13th place finish.
The other relay team, Roy Popp, Garrett Lenzen, Dylan Remsik and Hangsleben, competing in the 200-yard IM, finished 15th on Saturday, touching the wall in a time of 1:45.41.
Other highlights from the three-day meet included Krause advancing to the consolation round of the 200 IM with a season best time of 2:05.68. The senior would finish 16th at state, swimming a 2:07.59 in the final round.
Nyberg was strong in his individual events, as the sophomore qualified tenth and finished tenth (22.35 seconds) in the 50 freestyle. In the 100-yard freestyle he qualified 10th before finishing in 13th place on Saturday with a time of 50.03.
Eighth-grader Logan Cordell did not make it to the Saturday heats, but he continued his strong finishing kick to this season. The 500-yard freestyle swimmer dropped a few more seconds as he moved up from the 27th seed to 20th place at the state meet.
“For that kid to come on like he has at the end, it’s like, wow,” said Westveer.
Also finishing strong was diver Logan Bican. Bican survived the opening cut, making it to the final field of 16 divers, where he finished 15th with a total score of 266.95.
“He’s made great strides,” said Westveer. “He works hard. I think we’ll see some big things out of his diving.”
While the Magic would’ve certainly been thrilled to take home a couple of medals, Westveer said they were happy with most of the performances.
“Can’t really complain,” he said. “We had season bests all across the board.”
With a young team, Westveer said even though they didn’t take away any medals, he hopes the team takes a lot of value out of this state meet.
“We gained some valuable experience,” he said. “We’ll hopefully see these guys coming back with a renewed sense of motivation.”
In the end, the state meet was a positive experience for the Magic and an experience that capped a season full of met and exceeded expectations.
“Overall, when you look at the season, I think they’ve done a really good job,” Westveer said.
Monticello finished the year with a 7-1 record in dual meets. The Magic finished eighth at True Team State and 20th at the Class A State Meet.
Contact Clay Sawatzke at email@example.com