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Boys swimming: Not satisfied with 7th place

he Rosemount swimming and diving team will have seven individuals competing in 15 events at this weekend's Class 2A State Meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center. The Irish are trying to improve upon last year's seventh-place finish.

Rosemount took the Section 3AA swimming and diving finals by storm Friday night in Prior Lake.

The Irish qualified 15 individuals and relays for state in 10 events and set pool and section records in all three relays while pulling away for their fifth straight section title at Hidden Oaks Middle School. Their 424 1/2 points were 41 1/2 better than runner-up Lakeville North and 123 more than third-place Lakeville South.

The large Irish contingent will try to improve on last year's seventh-place team finish when the Class 2A State Meet gets under way tomorrow night at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center.

"Sections were awesome," said Rosemount coach Patti Wegner, who was selected as the Section 3AA Coach of the Year. "It was an amazing finish to an amazing season, with the final chapter being written this weekend."

Rosemount took the lead early on in the section meet when the foursome of Braden McCormack, Jacob Stern, Luke Dowell and Conor Manning teamed up to set new pool and section records with a winning time of 1 minute, 34.20 seconds, in the 200 medley relay.

Later in the meet, Manning and Stern joined Sheldon Hatlen and Andrew Urness for a pool-record time of 1:28.04 in the 200 freestyle relay. That time ranks second state-wide heading into this weekend.

The Irish completed the relay sweep as Hatlen, Urness, McCormack and Dowell won the 400 freestyle relay in a pool-record time of 3:13.90. That time ranks third among state qualifying relays.

Seven swimmers accounted for the Irish's 12 state-qualifying individual swims.

• Stern won a section title in the 100 breaststroke, where his time of 58.02 ranks first heading into the state meet. He will also compete in the 200 individual medley after placing second.

• Urness placed third in the 200 freestyle and third in the 500 freestyle, qualifying for state in both with a pair of career-best times.

• Hatlen followed Stern with a fourth-place finish and lifetime-best swim in the 200 IM and also came in second in the 100 freestyle.

• Manning and Braden McCormack also qualified in the 100 freestyle as the Irish placed three among the leaders. Manning will also take on the state's other elite sprinters in the 50 freestyle, while McCormack completes his schedule with the 100 backstroke, an event he placed second in at the section meet.

• Braden's twin brother, Matthew McCormack, met the qualifying time with a sixth-place finish in the 100 backstroke. Both McCormacks swam lifetime bests in the event.

• Dowell will take a break from his busy relay schedule to swim the 100 butterfly at state after tying for first in the section meet.