The Winhawk boys swim and dive team had an amazing day at the Maroon and Gold Invite held at the University of Minnesota. All but six individual swims were new personal bests — 21 of 27 — remarkable for a mid-season meet like this.
As a team, the Winhawks finished in sixth of 15 with 253 points.
Winona’s medley relay team of Gavin Nelson, Nick Brand, Tony Coudron, and Jon Broas took charge, finishing 24th in 1:52.89; the B team, Ethan Evenson, Briar Volkman, Brayden Coudron, and Jorge Olvera, finished 32nd in 1:56.18; and the C relay of Kyle Coudron, Colten Brand, Cully Olson, and Baker Swenson took 38th in 2:09.64.
Alex Jorgenson was in the fifth of six heats in the 200 freestyle. Jorgenson had an incredible swim and finished in third overall. Colin White crushed his time and went 2:09.76 to finish 34th, and Ian Loos destroyed his personal best to go 2:13.21, good for 40th.
Julius Hanson and Broas rocked their heat in the 200 individual medley, finishing 28th and 26th, respectively. Grant Wolner swam with some of the fastest swimmers in the state and took second. Brand held his time in the 50 free and placed 42nd while Tony Coudron dropped over a half a second and picked up 11th; Jack Herczeg raced with the two fastest sprinters in the state — Andrew Trepanier and Ryan Zelen — finishing in second place at 21.36, inching closer and closer to the team record of 21.20.
In diving, Devon Dulek struggled with two dives, but made up for them with his other four, taking sixth overall. Aidan Mohan failed one dive, but even so ended up placing 18th!
The 100 butterfly felt like the Coudron Show, as only Tony and Brayden were entered in the race for the Winhawks. Both of them had new personal bests and swam incredibly well – Brayden taking 32nd in 1:02.50 and Tony taking 14th in 58.17.
The 100 freestyle was the Zelen and Herczeg up against each other again. Herczeg took off from the dive and did not give anything up as he won the event in 46.34 to Zelen’s 46.52, a close and exciting race! Broas raced in the first heat and crushed it, taking 33rd, overall. Olvera was second in the heat and took 40th.
Jorgenson raced with the top heat in the 500 freestyle and was seeded seventh in the event, initially. He kept pace with some of the fastest in the state and ended up surpassing expectations, taking fourth overall with his 5:00.40. The biggest drop of any swimmer in the 500 belonged to Winona’s very own Julius Hanson, who was seeded at 5:59. Hanson obliterated his time, dropping 24 seconds, to finish 29th in 5:35.24! Not to be outdone, White turned in a personal best of his own, taking 35th.
Tanner Lozenski is still traveling back from out of country and would normally be with the top relay in the 200 free; however, Tony Coudron filled the role perfectly! Coudron, along with Herczeg, Wolner and Jorgenson, won the 200 free relay in 1:28.42. Winona’s B relay, consisting of Broas, Brand, Olvera, and Evenson took 23rd with their time of 1:41.42 while the C relay, consisting of Ian Loos, Jared Loos, Swenson, and White, dropped time to finish in 1:48.65.
Three Winona ninth graders all swam personal bests in the 100 backstroke: Brayden Coudron, Nelson and Evenson.
Wolner gave one heck of a race against Hudson swimmer Cale Blinkman, one of the top breaststrokers in the state of Wisconsin. Blinkman just barely touched out Wolner, 59.67 to 58.98. Briar Volkman crushed his seedtime and finished in 1:15.71, and Brand managed to secure 25th!
Without Lozenski, for the final event of the meet, the 400 free relay, the Winhawks had to fill the missing A relay slot with someone who isn’t familiar to the spotlight yet, but it seems will soon have a starring role there: Julius Hanson. Everyone else’s entries were used up before that 4x100, so people had to be moved up — Hanson proved the right guy was chosen. Herczeg, Wolner, and Jorgenson completed the relay line-up, taking third. To put into context how fast Hanson swam during this relay, during the first meet of the season (and his career), he touched in at 1:02.00. At his last meet, he beat that time with 57.5, and at the invitational he gave a performance in 54.79! Herczeg, Wolner, and Jorgenson gave Hanson the lead, and he showed he could hold his own against some of the best swimmers in the state.
Winona’s B relay, Olvera, Evenson, Jared Loos, and Brayden Coudron, took 25th in 3:53.25 — Brayden had a ridiculously good swim here as well — and last, but definitely not least, the C relay was full of guys who were still trying to get under one minute in the 100. They all gave great efforts, but just barely missed. The team of Cully Olsen, Kyle Coudron, Colten Brand, and Volkman placed 34th in 4:10.05.