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Swimming and diving: Irish improve to 2-0 in conference

Rosemount's Connor Manning swims in a recent meet. Manning is part of the record-setting 200 medley relay team.

The 200 medley relay team opened the meet by setting another pool record and the Rosemount swimming and diving team improved to 2-0 in the South Suburban Conference with a 111-73 win over Eagan Friday night at Dakota Hills Middle School.

The foursome of seniors Braden McCormack, Jake Stern, Luke Dowell and Conor Manning combined on a winning time of 1 minute, 40.70 seconds, over seven seconds better than Eagan's second-place team. Earlier in the week, the senior quartet set a new standard against Eden Prairie with a 1:37.96 clocking at the Rosemount Middle School pool.

"The guys continue to work on technique and all the little things. I can definitely see a difference in all of their swims," Rosemount coach Patti Wegner said. "They are doing a great job and I am really proud of how far they have come so far, but the bar continues to be raised. However, I am confident they are up to the challenge."

Stern came back to win the 200 individual medley in 2:07.41 and Sheldon Hatlen, Dowell and Manning followed with a 2-3-4 finish in the 50 freestyle to bump the Rosemount lead to 40-22.

Eagan still hung within 14 points at 62-48 until Andrew Urtness, Cody Sedbrook and Noah Peterson came in 1-2-3 in the 500 freestyle. Hatlen, Dowell, Stern and Manning followed with a victory in the 200 freestyle relay and the rout was on as the Irish pulled ahead, 87-53.

The Irish claimed the top two spots in the next two events as well. Braden and Matthew McCormack finished 1-2 in the 100 backstroke and Hatlen and Sam Stern reached the wall 1-2 in the 100 breaststroke to put exhibition scoring into effect.

Rosemount led 39-36 through five events in an eventual 111-96 loss to No. 1-ranked Eden Prairie last Tuesday.

The Eagles pulled away by placing 1-2 in three straight events -- the 100 butterfly, 100 freestyle and 500 freestyle -- pushing the score to 70-53.

Rosemount won four events, starting with the record-setting performance by the 200 medley relay. Eden Prairie claimed the top spot in events 2 through 4 before Daniel Monaghan won the dive with a score of 194.25. A 1-2-3 showing in the event gave the Irish their final lead.

Late in the meet, Braden McCormack and Jacob Stern posted back-to-back wins in the 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke, respectively. Stern's time of 1:01.35 reached the state-qualifying mark.

"Even though we lost the meet I saw many positive things to be proud of ... and at the same time I saw a lot of things we still need to work on," Wegner said. "There were quite a few season or lifetime best swims at this meet."