Swimming and diving: Irish swim past South
If Friday's season-opening meet against Lakeville South was any indication, it's going to be another successful winter for the Rosemount boys swimming and diving team.
The fourth-ranked Irish won 11 of 12 events -- and finished second by nine-hundredths of a second in the other - while rolling to a 97 1/2-80 1/2 victory over the Cougars at Kenwood Trail Middle School.
"It was a good first meet for us. It gave the guys a chance to get some racing under their belt and practice all the meet-type situations we have been talking about," Rosemount coach Patti Wegner said. "I am excited for the guys this season. A lot of them have put in off-season preparation and have been training very hard. I am excited to see where all of that takes us."
The Irish started the meet by posting a six-second margin of victory in the 200 medley relay. The foursome of Braden McCormack, Jacob Stern, Luke Dowell and Conor Manning combined for a winning time of 1 minute, 41.54 seconds.
After a narrow South victory in the 200 freestyle, the Irish finished the meet by reeling off victories in 10 straight events. Stern started the streak with a first-place time of 2:08.75 in the 200 freestyle. Manning followed with a first-place 22.77 clocking in the 50 freestyle and a 1-2-4 finish in the 1-meter dive (led by Daniel Monaghan's winning score of 176.95) made it 52-26 Irish through five events.
Three more individual first-place finishes followed, with Dowell claiming the 100 butterfly, Sheldon Hatlen the 100 freestyle and Andrew Urness the 500 freestyle.
Hatlen, Stern, Manning and Tyler Lawson followed with a first-place 1:33.29 clocking in the 200 freestyle relay that pushed the Irish lead to 97 1/2-42 1/2 and put exhibition scoring into effort for the meet's final three events.
In the 100 backstroke, McCormack bested the state qualifying standard with a first-place time of 55.76. Stern followed with a winning 1:02.75 clocking in the 100 breaststroke and the foursome of Hatlen, Dowell, Nick Jeffrey and John Drew capped off the met with an easy win in the 400 freestyle relay.
The Irish hosted No. 1-ranked Eden Prairie Tuesday at Rosemount Middle School and are back in action Friday against Eagan.