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Swimming: Irish seventh at state

Rosemount diver Daniel Monaghan competes in the 1-meter dive prelims last week at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center. Monaghan finished 24th in the event.1 / 2
David Baker reacts after seeing his finish on the scoreboard at the Class 2A State Meet this weekend at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center. The Irish finished seventh as a team.2 / 2

Setting goals at the beginning of the season was nothing new for the Rosemount boys swimming and diving team.

Building off of strong recent seasons, the Irish were setting the bar high with their preseason objectives with first-year head coach Patti Wegner this season.

"At the beginning of the season, we have all the guys set goal times, and some of them were kind of joking at how fast they wanted to go," Wegner said. "And a lot of them hit those times. They should be very proud of themselves."

Rosemount swimmers were was reaching their preseason goals at the end of the season and finished the year by placing seventh as a team at the Class 2A state meet last weekend at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center.

"Overall it was a great season," Wegner said. "The guys worked extremely hard and it paid off for them."

The Irish scored 127 points, just seven points behind sixth-place Maple Grove. Minnetonka won the team title with 253.5 points.

"A few of our swims were a little off on Friday," Wegner said of the team's performance in the preliminaries. "We ended up with a lot of swims in the top 16, whereas we were hoping to get a lot of our swims in the top eight. From prelims to finals, you are locked in either one through eight, or nine through 16. So, no matter how fast you swim you can't move up groups.

"I think nerves affected our swims on Friday, but the guys came back loose and ready for action on Saturday and they had a really good meet."

Rosemount chooses to put a strong emphasis on the relay events and scored several points in each relay last week.

The 200 medley relay team continued dropping time and placed second with an all-American time of 1 minute, 35.46 seconds. The relay consisted of Braden McCormack, Jacob Stern, Luke Dowell and Conor Manning. They trailed only Eden Prairie, which set a new Class 2A state meet record in 1:33.75.

The Irish's 200 freestyle relay team of Dowell, David Baker, Stern and Manning placed fifth in 1:27.59.

"It was a good swim for them," Wegner said.

Sheldon Hatlen, Tyler Lawson, Manning and Baker combined to take seventh in the 400 freestyle relay.

"All three relays made all-state status, and it has been a really long time since we have done that," Wegner said. "Edina, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie were the only other teams at that meet to have all three relays in the top eight. So, I am very happy about that. Our guys made some really big improvements."

Rosemount had a significant time drop in the 400 medley relay to finish at 3:14.56 last week.

"Kind of like the 200 medley relay, we were getting beat by a lot of the big teams like Edina, Minnetonka, etc. and were going 1:40, but at state we went 1:35 and beat everybody but Eden Prairie," Wegner said. "It was a great accomplishment for them."

Stern posted Rosemount's top individual finish at the state meet, placing second in the 100 breaststroke. Stern touched the wall in 58.20 seconds, earning all-state honors. Stern is a junior and the winner from Edina is a senior.

"He will come back next year to try and win that event," Wegner said.

Stern added a fifth-place finish in the consolation finals of the 200 individual medley.

Dowell finished second in the consolation finals of the 100 butterfly, placing 10th.

Baker, Rosemount's only senior competing at the state meet, was third in the consolation finals of the 100 freestyle.

Manning took fourth in the consolation final of the 50 freestyle.

Andrew Urness finished seventh in the consolation finals of the 500 freestyle.

In diving, the Irish's Daniel Monaghan scored 129.85 points, good for 24th in the preliminaries.

Dowell finished 19 in the preliminaries of the 50 freestyle.