Four Hastings freshmen had good weekend at state swim meet
The Hastings boys swimming team was well represented at the finals for the state meet Saturday at the University of Minnesota.
The Raiders had qualified athletes in six swims for the state meet, and four advanced to finals.
Leading the way was freshman Colby Smith, who took sixth in the 200 individual medley and ninth in the 100 butterfly.
In the individual medley, Smith had a finals time of 1:59.54, which was just a bit slower than his time from prelims of 1:58.57. Smith had never gone under two minutes in the event until the state meet.
"I would say that's the most grueling event of the entire lineup," coach Gerry Rupp said. "That IM is tough. It's such a tough event to get to the state meet in and then to place in the top eight? He just had a phenomenal swim on Friday, and he followed that up on Saturday with another good one."
Smith was the consolation champion in the 100 butterfly with a time of 52.45. He placed ninth.
"At the 50-yard mark, he was probably in fifth place," Rupp said. "He kept his head together and finished stronger than everybody else, and he pulled out the win with his lifetime best swim.
"I told him before the race to go out there and swim his race. On Friday, he lost his smoothness. I told him he should be comfortable but strong in the first 50 yards, and then bring it home in the final 50."
Smith listened, swimming the second 50 yards of the race 1.5 seconds faster than the rest of the field.
"He swam his race and pulled out the win," Rupp said.
Smith came back to the Hastings contingent gathered on the pool deck and told them: "I did just what Gerry told me to do."
Rupp was surprised and pleased to hear it.
"He made my night," Rupp said.
Thomas Everson qualified for the 200 individual medley and advanced to the consolation finals. He finished 14th in the race with a time of 2:02.23.
"Again, that's another freshman," Rupp said. "That's pretty awesome."
Everson also qualified in the 500 freestyle. He placed 29th overall with a time of 5:02.40.
Hastings had two relay teams qualify for the state meet.
The 200 medley relay team finished ninth with a time of 1 minute, 40.45 seconds.
On the team were Brandon Underwood, Smith, Hayden Schmitt and Everson.
"We were happy with that swim," Rupp said. "I just told them, last year, they weren't here. This year, we'll win the consolation finals and we'll get better every year. They had some great swims and pulled it out.
"It was a total team effort. It takes four guys to get it done, and all four had their best swims."
The 400 freestyle relay team missed qualifying for the finals by four tenths of a second. They placed 17th at the meet with a time of 3:20.81.
"We were just a little off our section time, just a little slower," Rupp said. "All four guys swam well. We were just a hair short of what we needed."