After an impressive third place finish at the Section 2A meet last week, the Watertown-Mayer/Waconia/Delano boys’ swimming and diving team is sending six athletes to the state meet in six events. The Royals scored 281 points to finish third of the 11 section teams, being section winner Blake/Breck (608) and runner up Orono (304.5).
WMWD head coach Chuck Charnstrom said the team did great.
“It was our first time in (Class) A swimming,” he said. “We went from the strongest section with Edina, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie, to a section with schools much more our size…it was nice to get entrants in more than half of the events!”
In order to qualify for the state tournament, a swimmer or relay team must place in the top three of a given event or meet a predetermined qualifying time.
The Royals kicked off the day with a state tournament entry in the 400 medley relay. Juniors Brent Unowsky, Zachary Holman, Ben DeSutter, and freshman Jake Weber finished third in 1:46.01.
Weber went on to finish second in the 50 free, also qualifying for state with a final time of 23.68 seconds.
Junior Tristan Gens punched his state card with a third place finish in diving, scoring 348.65 points.
Senior Zach Holman pulled down the Royals’ first and only event win of the day, dominating the 100 butterfly in 52.53 seconds. He went on to finish third in the 100 breaststroke, qualifying for state with a time of 1:03.46.
Sophomore Jack Dalluge qualified for state by finishing third in the 100 freestyle in 51.99 seconds.
In the final event of the day, the Royals were third in the 400 free relay to clinch their sixth state tournament entry. Dalluge, Unowsky, DeSutter, and Holman finished in 3:28.88. At state, Dalluge, DeSutter, and Holman will team up with Weber in the event.
In other top finishes, Dalluge was fourth in the 200 freestyle, while Unowsky was tenth in the same event. Senior Austin Gilbert was eighth in the 200 IM, while fellow senior Allan Janikula was tenth. DeSutter was ninth in the 100 fly as well as the 100 backstroke, and Weber was sixth in the 100 free. Seventh grader John Kenison finished in the top 10 of the 500 freestyle, finishing tenth. In the 200 free relay, Dalluge, Janikula, Gilbert, and Weber teamed up to finish fifth.
Seniors Tyler Hannan, Gilbert, and Janikula will serve as alternates for both relay teams, while seventh grader John Kenison will be an alternate for the 200 medley relay and Unowsky for the 400 free relay.
The Class A state preliminary competition kicks off this Friday, Feb. 28 at 12 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center. Finals will be Saturday at the same time.
Contact Melissa Marohl at [email protected]