by Head Coach Chris Mayer
The Winhawks Boys Swim and Dive Team suffered two very close virtual meet losses last night to Mankato East and Rochester Century. The official scores were Mankato East - 91, Winona - 89 and Rochester Century - 92, Winona - 82.
What I would trade for a diver right now. If you’re reading this and have an acrobatic son who loves to jump around and loves cannonballs off a diving board, please sign him up for the dive team. One diver would have won the meet versus Mankato East and also would have won the meet versus Austin.
Our guys knew these two meets were going to be close, and as it turns out, one diver scoring points would have helped win the meet versus East. For Century, we needed a little more help, but that’s alright. Our guys swam their season bests and gave their all. I could not be more proud of the guys and with seeing these times, I am greatly looking forward to the end of the season, Big 9, Sections, and the state meet.
Knowing that both East and Century have strong teams, our guys knew we had to start strong and carry the momentum as best we could. We loaded up our medley relays to see what they could do. Our A relay has been eyeing the state cut of 1:45.18, and they were determined tonight to go after that time. They also knew that East has the other strongest medley relay in the section, and they would not back down. Colin White, Julius Hanson, Brayden Coudron, and Gavin Nelson all swam season bests and came in under the dtate qualifying time with a final time of 1:44.49. This time was good enough to take first place versus both teams. Not to be out-done, our B relay knew they needed to get third place. Kyle Coudron, Briar Volkman, Jared Loos, and Charlie Miller all had season bests as well and took third for both meets with their 1:52.99. What a great start.
Next up came the 200 freestyle. We knew that we needed some fast races here because Century has some great guys and with East we needed to keep a lead. Colin lead the charge for us with Elijah Vieth and Charlie following suit. Colin swam a 1:56.52, Elijah swam a 2:02.91, and Charlie swam a 2:05.00. Against Mankato East, Colin took first place, Elijah took third, and Charlie took fifth. Against Century, Colin took second, and Elijah took fifth and Charlie took sixth. Quite the difference in power between the two teams.
Up next came the 200 individual medley. Again, our guys knew that we wanted to stay ahead of East for as long as we could and with Century, we were just trying to keep pace. Julius lead the charge for us and finished with a season best 2:08.91, only a few seconds above the state cut. Jared was our number two swimmer and he finished with his new season best 2:23.96, and young newcomer Matthew Bricco etched a new season best as well with his 2:42.67. Against Mankato East, we took first, fourth, and sixth, and against Century, we took first, fifth, and sixth.
Now the 50 free splash and dash – Brayden lead our charge with younger brother Kyle Coudron on one side, Briar on the other. All three had great races. Brayden finished with a new personal best of 23.25, Kyle finished with a 26.10, and Briar with a 27.31. Versus Mankato East, we took first, fifth, and sixth, and versus Century we took second, fifth, and sixth. Again, staying ahead of East and falling another few points behind Century. Against East, we took first, second, and fourth. Against Century, we took first, second, and sixth.
And then diving hit. Both teams had two divers, East scored 10 points and Century had one exhibition diver, so they scored six points. But we had three stellar flyers coming up next.
Brayden, Julius, and Jared have been rock stars this year in butterfly and look to be strong at the end of the season. Brayden and Julius both raced to a new personal best in 56.31 and 56.85, respectively. Jared swam his season bests in 1:05.05. Against East that was good for first, second and fourth. Against Century it was good for first, second, and sixth. The Century guy was only a hair faster than Jared … too bad we weren’t in person.
In the 100 freestyle, we knew we would need to contend with two strong athletes, Owen Nord from Century and Logan Gustafson from East. We sent up Gavin, Charlie, and Matthew to see what they could do and to allow Matthew a chance to get minuteman. Gavin swam a near personal best in 52.83, Charlie did swim a personal best in 54.39, and Matthew just missed the minuteman cut in 1:00.19. So close. Those were great times for all three. Against East we took second, fifth and sixth, and against Century we took second, fourth, and sixth.
We had some very strong 500 swims last night and, wow, I am looking forward to seeing what these guys can do when we get to the end of the season. Elijah threw down a 5:25.10, Adam a 5:46.53, and Ethan Evenson swam a 6:07.98, not bad for a guy who is having knee problems from growing too fast. Versus East we took first, third, and sixth. Versus Century we took second, fourth, and fifth.
Continuing with the strong relays, we sent up a fast 200 Free relay. Like most of the events, we knew we had to keep ahead of East and try to keep pace with Century. We manage to keep ahead of East but we struggle to keep up with Century’s top end and struggle a bit. Vs East we took first and third. Vs Century we took second and fourth. Our A relay consisted of Jared, Brayden, Charlie, and Julius. They notched a new season best in 1:38.30. Our B relay consisted of Briar, Matthew, Elijah, and Ethan and they too notched a season best of 1:49.09.
We pull out some big points in backstroke as Colin swam a new personal best in 58.24, Gavin had a new season best in 1:01.37, and Kyle Coudron etched his new personal best of 1:04.24. Against East, that was good for first, fourth and fifth. Against Century, those were good for first, second, and fourth.
Although we try to keep up, our depth showed in the latter events of the meet. We used all our firepower to keep us in the meet, but now we were starting to struggle. We still had a great lead breaststroke in Briar, but we didn’t have enough to keep us in the hunt. Briar swam another consistent race with his 1:16.57. Adam continued his great meet with a 1:23.42, and Caleb Reed swam a 1:27.40. Versus East, we take second, fifth, and sixth, and versus Century we take third, fifth and sixth.
And last we have two great relays in the 400 freestyle relay to end our meet. Our A relay of Colin, Elijah, Gavin, and Kyle notch a new season best in 3:43.36, and our B relay swam new personal bests as well to finish in 4:08.14. Versus East we take second and fourth, just missing the win, and versus Century we took first and second as they went exhibition after the breaststroke, since they had enough points to win the meet.
All in all, another great meet for us, and I am anticipating the end of the season. We have two more dual meets, next week vs John Marshall, the week after versus Albert Lea, and those two should be great meets for us. We continue to prep for the end of the season, and by the looks of what we saw tonight, we have some bright swims on the horizon.