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Raiders take second at section swim meet

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sports Hastings, 55033
Hastings Minnesota 745 Spiral Boulevard 55033

Here’s an indication of just how good the section swimming meet went for Hastings: There are five awards handed out at the conclusion of the meet, and all five were awarded to Hastings athletes and coaches.

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The only award that didn’t go to Hastings was the team trophy. The Raiders placed second in the meet, coming in a close second behind Rochester Century.

About those awards: The section coach of the year award went to Gerry Rupp.

The assistant section coach of the year award went to Katie McAlpin.

The section diving coach of the year went to Briana Aarness.

The section’s diver of the meet honor went to Vova Tipler.

And the section’s swimmer of the meet went to Jack VanZee.

“It was a darn good meet,” Rupp said.

The best news for Hastings was that the team qualified competitors in 11 of 12 events. That will give Hastings as good of a chance as anyone else to fare well at the state meet. Hastings expects to face its stiffest competition from East Ridge, Minnetonka, Eden Prairie and Wayzata. Any one of those five teams, including Hastings, could win the state title.

“I’m excited to see what’s going to happen,” Rupp said. “We had a mixture of guys halfway through taper, not all the way tapered, some guys shaved, some guys didn’t. It all depends on who went fast for sections, and who has some left in the tank. In looking at the seedings, we’ve positioned ourselves well to have a successful meet.

“It should be close. There’s quite a bit of balance across the board with entries.”

The state diving prelims begin Thursday, Feb. 27.

The swimming prelims are on Friday, Feb. 28 and the finals are on Saturday, March 1. The event is held at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.

State qualifiers

Vova Tipler qualified for the state meet as a diver, marking the first time that Hastings has been represented at the state meet by a diver since 1976.

Tipler is an eighth-grader. He had a total of 329.45 points.

“For him to win the section and move on to state as an eighth-grader is incredible,” Rupp said.

VanZee qualified for the state meet in two individual events – the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle. He was the section champion in both of them. VanZee had lifetime best swims in both events.

“He blew away the field in both races,” Rupp said. “He just tore it up. He had a body-length lead over everybody when he finished. He was just on the cusp of breaking out last year. We knew he was going to do it this year. He’s bigger and strong and he’s worked hard. He’s earned it.”

VanZee had a time of 1 minute, 43.66 seconds in the 200 freestyle and a time of 4:45.47 in the 500 freestyle.

Thomas Everson also qualified for the state meet in two individual events. He was second in the 200 individual medley (1:56.37) and the 100 butterfly (52.63).

Colby Smith qualified in two individual events as well. He took third in the 100 butterfly (52.81) and second in the 100 backstroke (53.97).

Brandon Underwood also qualified in the backstroke, finishing in third with a time of 54.23.

Hayden Schmitt qualified in the 50 freestyle with a time of 21.97.

Cole Tipler qualified in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:01.68.

Relays

Hastings qualified all three relays to swim at the state meet, too.

The 200 medley relay team of Underwood, Cole Tipler, Colby Smith and Hayden Schmitt was first in a time of 1:37.65.

That finish was just 15 hundredths of a second off the section record of 1:37.50.

The 200 freestyle relay team of Schmitt, Cole Tipler, VanZee and Thomas Everson finished first in 1:28.72.

The 400 freestyle relay team of Smith, VanZee, Everson and Underwood was first in 3:16.46.

Full section results

Here are complete results from the section finals:

200 medley relay – team of Underwood, Tipler, Smith and Schmitt, first, 1:37.65.

200 freestyle – VanZee, first, 1:43.66; Stephen Smith, ninth, 1:52.65; Cal Gergen, 13th, 1:55.53.

200 individual medley – Thomas Everson, second, 1:56.37; Michael Everson, seventh, 2:09.42; Aaron McCullough, 11th, 2:13.91.

50 freestyle – Schmitt, second, 21.97; Cole Tipler, sixth, 22.56; Cole Scully, 12th, 23.56.

Diving – Vova Tipler, first, 329.45; Ethan Kimmes, sixth, 240.85; Chris Benson, 13th, 183.70.

100 butterfly – Thomas Everson, second, 52.63; Smith, third, 52.81; Jack Weldon, eighth, 57.44.

100 freestyle – Schmitt, ninth, 48.99; Scully, 15th, 52.21.

500 freestyle – VanZee, first, 4:45.47; Stephen Smith, ninth, 5:12.33; Erik Christensen, 14th, 5:27.42; Cal Gergen, 15th, 5:28.97.

200 freestyle relay – team of Schmitt, Cole Tipler, VanZee and Thomas Everson, first, 1:28.72.

100 backstroke – Smith, second, 53.97; Underwood, third, 54.23; Michael Everson, eighth, 59.05; McCullough, 11th, 1:00.31.

100 breaststroke – Tipler, fourth, 1:01.68.

400 freestyle relay – team of Smith, VanZee, Thomas Everson and Underwood, first, 3:16.46.

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