Raiders win title at Packer inviteThe Hastings boys swimming and diving team dominated the competition at Saturday’s Packer Invitational in South St. Paul.
By: Chad Richardson, The Hastings Star-Gazette
The Hastings boys swimming and diving team dominated the competition at Saturday’s Packer Invitational in South St. Paul.
Hastings won the meet with 403 points. Benilde-St Margaret was second with 282 and Cambridge-Isanti was third with 270. There were 10 teams in the meet.
“This meet was so much fun,” coach Gerry Rupp said. “I can’t remember the last time that I just sat there with a grin from ear to ear, watching my guys finish their races. The last 25 yards, they were blowing everyone away. It was so much fun to watch.”
Many races that Hastings swimmers won weren’t even close. The ones that were close were memorable, like the 200 freestyle relay.
Hastings was neck-and-neck with two other teams heading into the anchor leg of the relay. Brandon Underwood was on the blocks for Hastings and when he dove into the pool, he ended up scraping his knees on the bottom of the four-foot-deep pool.
By the time he surfaced, he was about a body length behind the two other swimmers. He hit the turn hard, got into an extra gear and raced past the other two swimmers to get the win for the Raiders.
“What I’m seeing in a lot of the guys, and especially in Brandon, is that you get the sense they are starting to feel like these are their races,” Rupp said. “‘Nobody is going to take them from me.’ That’s the kind of attitude you want to see in a racer.”
It appears as though this is the last time Hastings will be competing at the meet, instead electing to race at the section true team meet, which is held the same weekend as the Packer Invitational.
The win Saturday capped off a great week for Hastings. The Raiders beat Woodbury in a dual meet Tuesday and then beat Cretin-Derham Hall on Thursday.
“We had a phenomenal week,” Rupp said.
Hastings beat Woodbury by eight points.
Against Cretin, the meet came down to the last race, the 400 freestyle relay. Hastings simply needed a second-place finish in the race to secure the win, and that’s exactly what they got. Hastings won by two points.
“That is a tribute to how the boys swam,” Rupp said. “Had they not swam their absolute best, we would have lost both of those meets. They all just rose to the occasion and each did their own job. We came out on top as a team.”
Hastings did all this without one of its top swimmers, Hayden Schmitt, who will return to action this week.
The swimmer of the meet at the Packer Invitational was Colby Smith.
Against Woodbury it was Elijah Reilly and against Woodbury it was Cole Scully.
Results from the Packer Invitational went like this:
200 medley relay – team of Underwood, Hunter Sassor, Smith and Reilly, first, 1:44.11; team of Ken Benson, Jack VanZee, John Utecht and Cole TIpler, 11th, 1:51.94; team of Scott Christensen, Bobby Moore, Aaron McCullough and Ethan Kimmes, 20th, 2:11.14.
200 freestyle – Thomas Everson, second, 1:49.41; Benson, 17th, 2:08.73; Jack Weldon, 25th, 2:15.73.
200 individual medley – Smith, first, 2:01.70; VanZee, 10th, 2:18.42.
50 freestyle – Underwood, first, 22.67; Reilly, seventh, 24.56; Scully, 14th, 26.03.
100 butterfly – Smith, first, 52.73; Reilly, sixth, 58.88; Tipler, eighth, 59.71.
100 freestyle – Underwood, first, 49.14; Utecht, eighth, 53.61; Michael Everson, 23rd, 1:01.01.
500 freestyle – Thomas Everson, first, 5:01.53; Scully, sixth, 5:48.23; Moore, 15th, 6:01.09.
100 backstroke – Benson, sixth, 1:01.71; Utecht, eighth, 1:02.19; Michael Everson, 16th, 1:08.62.
100 breaststroke – Sassor, third, 1:07.05; Tipler, sixth, 1:08.20; VanZee, 11th, 1:12.65.
400 freestyle relay – team of Thomas Everson, Utecht, Sassor and Smith, first, 3:28.14; team of Benson, Kimmes, Everson and Scully, 12th, 3:48.46; team of Logan Lauder, Bobby Moore, Patrick Clark and McCullough, 22nd, 4:09.83.