Led by four All-State performances, the Monticello boys swimming and diving team placed 11th at the Class A State Meet this past weekend.
Monticello scored 72 points at the meet, finishing just two points behind 10th-place Benilde St. Margaret’s. Breck/Blake won the meet with 349.5 points, ending St. Thomas Academy’s five-year reign as Class A State Champions.
Monti’s meet was highlighted by a strong weekend for Sam Dressler, a medal worthy performance from the 400 freestyle relay team, and a good Saturday for two Magic divers.
“Mostly it went pretty well,” said Magic coach Dirk Westveer.
Dressler, Monti’s top dog all season, had a hand in all three swimming medals. The senior made his way into the championship heat of both individual events, and anchored the 400 free relay that did the same.
On championship Saturday, Dressler shined the brightest in the 200-yard freestyle. The senior, who entered the meet seeded sixth, turned in a time of 1:44.36, nearly .6 seconds faster than he went in prelims, to finish third in Class A. Griffin Wolner won the race with a time of 1:41.63, while Dressler was able to hold off fourth-place by .22 seconds.
Dressler’s second foray into the pool on Saturday was in the 100 freestyle, where he finished sixth overall. Dressler entered the state meet seeded 13th, before swimming the fifth fastest time in prelims. He went even faster on Saturday, but dropped one spot in the standings with his time of 47.5. The sixth-place finish earned him his second individual All-State award of the day.
Dressler’s last All-State performance came with three of his teammates by his side. The foursome of Dylan Remsik, Jack Whinnery, Logan Cordell and Dressler teamed up to finish in eighth-place in the 400-yard freestyle. The group, made up of two seniors (Remsik, Dressler), a junior (Cordell), and a sophomore, swam the seventh-best time at prelims, aided by a career-best swim from Remsik. Monti got a hair faster Saturday, but the eight-seed dropped two seconds, moving past the Magic on the final day. That gave Monti an eighth-place finish in Class A.
In diving, Monti bounced back from a slow start at prelims with two good
performances on Saturday. Cade Boraas moved up from 14th place to 13th place and Jack Sampson moved from 11th-place to 8th-place, jumping three divers with just three dives, to earn an All-State medal.
“They both improved,” said Westveer. “They both had a good Saturday.”
Sampson scored 103.7 points Saturday to total 333.2 and move into eight-place with 5.7 points to spare. Boraas finished with 308.6 points at the meet.
Westveer said scoring can be a bit tougher at the state meet.
“Diving is such a game of inches,” he said. “They really hammer you at the state level if you make a mistake.”
Monti had two other entries make it back to the final day, with both Remsik and Whinnery swimming the consolation heat of the 100 butterfly.
Remsik finished 16th with a time of 55.25, while Whinnery finished 12th in 53.71.
Westveer said that Whinnery’s time and place was telling of how quickly swimmers across the state are improving.
“A 53 is really fast,” he said, adding that only 14 years ago 53.1 seconds was the winning time when Monti’s Tyler Anderson brought home a state championship.
That time would’ve finished eighth in the event Saturday. The winning time was 49.95 seconds.
“Times have gotten so fast,” said Westveer.
Monti’s other performances at the state meet included a 17th-place finish for the 200 free relay team of Remsik, Whinnery, Cordell, and Dressler, a 19th-place finish for Cordell in the 50 free (his time of 22.37 seconds missed the consolation heat by just .17 seconds), and a 26th-place finish for Cordell in the 100-free.
Westveer said he starts every year with the same goals of winning the section and finishing in the top-ten at state. The Magic came up just short of the section goal (finishing second) and inches short of a top-ten finish at state. Which, considering the dramatically turned over lineup filled with youth, is a lot closer than it maybe once seemed like they would get.
“We certainly exceeded some of my expectations,” said Westveer, who added that he was proud of what his kids did this weekend.
“We did this with six guys at the state level,” he said. “It was a nice performance by those guys.”
The coach said it’s a weekend that he thinks should be beneficial for Monti’s swimmers and divers that return next year, as well as one he hopes was enjoyed by all.
“I think the experience is valuable,” he said. “And they make life-long memories [down there]. It’s all good stuff.”
Contact Clay Sawatzke at [email protected]