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Boys swimming: Swimmers fourth at True Team State

The Rosemount boys swimming and diving team was looking forward to seeing how it would stack up against the top teams in the state last week at the True Team state meet.

The Irish wanted to at least put themselves in the conversation with Minnetonka, Edina and Eden Prairie as the top teams in Class 2A. The True Team event, which scores every participant and measures a team's overall depth, gave Rosemount its chance.

After finishing fourth behind the other three teams, the Irish firmly believe they belong in the elite company and only a minor slip kept the Irish from achieving their goal.

"I am ecstatic at how fast our guys swam at this meet," Rosemount coach Patti Wegner said. "We swam our butts off. We were really trying to get into the top three. We should've been third."

The Irish scored 1,799.5 points. Minnetonka won the team title with 2,063 points, followed by Edina (1,929.5 points) and Eden Prairie (1,871).

Rosemount can look right to the first event for the reason it finished fourth.

In the 200-yard medley relay, the Irish's top relay team was disqualified after an early relay exchange, costing the team 94 points.

"You do the math, 94 more points puts us in third," Wegner said. "I am extremely disappointed about that. We always stress in practice that all the little things matter and to practice perfection, and this little mistake cost us big.

"Nobody gave us a second look before the meet started, thinking that the big three teams would run away with the meet. I talked to the guys about that before the meet started and we were poised to try and take one of them down. It's just too bad that all of our great swims were overshadowed by that."

While the mistake in the first event could have haunted Rosemount the remainder of the meet, the Irish still had strong performances and easily outdistanced fifth-place Stillwater.

"Although we didn't finish where we wanted to, we raced very well," Wegner said. "Guys were winning their heats and racing fast people. It was very exciting to watch. We really came together as a team too. I am a very happy coach and very proud of them."

Rosemount's "B" relay team of Matthew McCormack, Alex Roberts, Tyler Lawson and Andrew Holzmer led the Irish in the 200 medley relay with a 10th place finish.

It was the beginning of a standout day for McCormack, who also tied for 27th in the 100 freestyle, placed seventh in the 100 backstroke and was on the "B" relay team for the 400 freestyle relay, which finished in 12th.

"He had all lifetime best swims at this meet and kicked butt," Wegner said of McCormack. "He did an amazing job. He impressed everyone at the pool, too."

Jacob Stern had Rosemount's top finish, placing third in the 100 breaststroke. His time of 1 minute, 1.57 seconds is under the state qualifying time. Stern also finished eighth in the 200 individual medley and was on the "B" relay team that placed 14th.

Conor Manning placed 10th in the 50 freestyle.

In diving, Daniel Monaghan finished sixth, followed by teammate Anthony Tooley in seventh.

"Diving scored a ton of points for us," Wegner said of the 148 points scored by Monaghan, Tooley, Dominic Smithson and Gareth Estabrook. "It was probably our best event in that respect. Tami Carlson, our head diving coach and assistant swimming coach, does a great job with them. She sets the tone for hard work at practice and the guys just follow her example. Dan Monaghan had the most points that any diver at Rosemount has had in over four years. And he is just a freshman. He has a very bright future."

Luke Dowell was eighth in the 100 butterfly.

In the 200 freestyle relay, the Irish's "A" relay was up to the task, touching the wall in fourth place with Dowell, Sheldon Hatlen, David Baker and Manning combining on the effort. Rosemount also finished 14th and 16th in the 200 freestyle relay.

"Our relay swims were phenomenal for us," Wegner said. "Guys got really pumped up and swam their fastest times ever."

Braden McCormack was sixth in the 100 backstroke. Matthew McCormack finished right behind in seventh and Nick Jeffrey was the third Irish swimmer to touch the wall, placing 15th.

"What is most impressive is the fact that we aren't rested for this meet and we still swam fast," Wegner said. "We taper for the section and state meet that are at the end of February and into the first week in March. The guys who work hard every day and do all the little things are really starting to see their times come down. I am excited for them to finally see the rewards for all the hard work they do."

Rosemount beats Panthers

The Irish also faced Lakeville North in a South Suburban Conference meet and came away with a 100-83 victory. Rosemount won six individual events and exhibitioned the final 400 freestyle relay.

Braden McCormack, Stern, Dowell and Baker won the 200 medley relay.

Manning won the 50 freestyle, with Dowell taking the 100 butterfly.

Tooley, Monaghan and Estabrook finished 1-2-3, respectively, in diving.

Dowell, Hatlen, Baker and Manning teamed up to win the 200 freestyle relay.

Braden McCormack added a win in the 100 backstroke.