Boys' Swimming and Diving
The Hastings boys' swimming and diving team sent four events on to the state meet after competing at sections in Rochester. Vova Tipler made it again in diving after taking seventh last season, and John Rupp qualified in the 100 backstroke. The team of Aaron McCullough, Rupp, Carter Williams and Jack Gergen made it in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays. As a team, Hastings finished fourth out of eight teams, which was in line with head coach Gerry Rupp's expectations.
"As a team, we finished right about where I expected, given the fact that we were so young and inexperienced this season," Rupp said. "We were hoping to get eight swims qualified for the state meet and ended up getting three. McCullough and Williams had unexpectedly fast relay splits in the medley relay to help the squad move to the next level. John Rupp was the swimmer of the meet, qualifying for state in three of his four events and narrowly missing in the 50 freestyle by 17 hundredths of a second. Vova Tipler defended his section diving title again for his third straight."
In the 50 freestyle, Gergen and Rupp finished just outside of qualifying range in fourth and fifth respectively. Carter Williams took eighth in the 100 butterfly, while McCullough and Gergen took third and fourth in the 100 freestyle. Joe Everson won the consolation final with a ninth-place finish in the 500 freestyle after improving by 17 seconds.
Rupp said he likes his swimmers' chances of making the finals.
"The medley relay is currently seeded in 12th place entering the state preliminaries held this Friday. Rupp is seeded 14th in the backstroke and the 400 freestyle relay is seeded 13th place," Rupp explained. "There's a good chance for all three swims to return to the finals on Saturday. Tipler is poised as one of the premier divers in the state and will look to improve upon his seventh-place finish in the finals one year ago."
The boys compete at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center Thursday and Friday, March 2-3. The diving preliminaries are Thursday, while the swimming prelims are Friday and then the finals Saturday, March 4.