Four swimmers are all-statersFour Hastings High School swimmers earned All-State honors this weekend at the state swimming and diving meet at the University of Minnesota.
By: Chad Richardson, The Hastings Star-Gazette
Four Hastings High School swimmers earned All-State honors this weekend at the state swimming and diving meet at the University of Minnesota.
All four of Hastings’ representatives at the meet were sophomores. They are Hayden Schmitt, Brandon Underwood, Colby Smith and Thomas Everson.
The four earned the honor together in the 400 freestyle relay, where the Raiders placed eighth with a time of 3 minutes and 14.53 seconds in finals.
At the section meet, Hastings set a new school record with a time of 3:13, which is four seconds better than the previous school record.
“They destroyed the old school record,” coach Gerry Rupp said. Proving that swim wasn’t a fluke, the team went out and had two swims of 3:14 at the state meet.
“What I liked about it was, they went close to their best time three times in a row,” Rupp said. “It shows they do have a new benchmark for where to start next year.”
Hastings placed 13th in the team rankings with 54 points.
Eden Prairie won the meet, followed by Maple Gove and Minnetonka.
Hastings would have placed better had another relay team, the 200 medley relay, not been disqualified. That team, consisting of the same four swimmers, had qualified for finals with a time of 1:38.84. In the finals, though, one of the swimmers slipped at the start, resulting in a false start being called against the Raiders.
Individually speaking, Hastings was led by Smith. He placed seventh in the 200 individual medley and fifth in the 100 butterfly.
In the individual medley, he had a time of 1:56.99 in finals. In prelims, he had a time of 1:57.32. The race was won by Gregory Norsten of Woodbury, who had a time of 1:49.76.
In the 100 butterfly, he had a time of 51.03 in prelims and 51.14 in finals. The race was won by Maverick Hovey of Eden Prairie, who had a time of 49.52.
His time of 51.03 is a new school record.
“Both days were very nice races for him,” Rupp said. “We were very happy with how he swam.”
Smith earned All-State honors in each race and just missed All-America honors.
Everson placed 12th in the 200 IM. He had a time of 2:00.07 in prelims, and a time of 1:59.58 in finals. His swim in the finals marks the first time he’s been under two minutes in the race.
In the 100 butterfly, Everson just missed qualifying for finals. He placed 17th with his lifetime best swim of 53.51. The 16th and final qualifier had a time of 53.43.
In the 100 freestyle, Underwood placed 16th with a time of 49.26 in finals. He had a time of 48.59 in the prelims. On Monday of last week, Underwood was diagnosed with strep throat, and Rupp said that illness took something out of Underwood.
“You could see it at the end of his 100 race – he was tired,” Rupp said. “He was just running out of gas.”
In the 50 freestyle, Underwood placed 19th in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.36.
In the 50 freestyle, Schmitt tied for 16th after preliminaries and he had to compete in a swim-off for the 16th and final spot for Saturday. He had a time of 22.26, but lost in the swim-off and didn’t advance to Saturday. He placed 17th.
While Rupp was thrilled with what he saw over the weekend, he can’t help but look forward to the coming years for his program. There wasn’t a single senior on Hastings’ roster this year, and a talented crop of youthful swimmers will be joining his program next year, too.
“We are very excited with what is returning for us,” Rupp said. “When you lose nothing and potentially just continue to grow, it’s looking very bright.”
That said, placing well won’t be easy in the Suburban East Conference. Four SEC schools were in the state’s top 10 this year at the state meet. Woodbury placed sixth, Mounds View was seventh, East Ridge was eighth and Stillwater was 10th.