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Swim and dive: After three-year absence, Irish qualify for True Team state

After a three-year absence, the Rosemount boys swim and dive team will be back at the True Team state meet.

The Irish finished third out of six teams with 851 points Saturday at the Valley Middle School pool, but earned a wild card berth for the Class 2A True Team state meet Saturday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. The program qualified for the meet six years in a row and posted several high finishes from 2008 to 2013 before falling short the last three years.

“We had a great meet. The swims were up and down but as a team they really stepped up and made some big swims and dives. That's what this meet is all about,” Rosemount coach Jake Kemna said. “It is a showing of a team can perform and the boys really took that to heart and swam and dove as a team.”

The Irish landed at least two athletes in the top 10 in nine of the meet’s 12 events. Three swimmers landed in the top half of the field in the 500 freestyle where Keegan Henning, Cody Spaeth and Nate Boerboom provided a 6-8-9 finish.

Grant Toenges earned the Irish’s lone first-place finish in the 100 backstroke, winning by just under a second. Owen Benson led a trio of teammates a few seconds back providing a 10-11-12 showing.

Toenges also placed second in the 100 butterfly and swam on the Irish’s fourth-place 400 freestyle relay team and fifth-place 200 medley relay team. Jake Veness, Spaeth and Timbers rounded out the 400 free relay and Jonathan Wise, Brogan O’Donnel and Tanner Wenzel completed the 200 medley relay.

Wenzel, Timbers, Veness and Devin Anderson also combined for sixth in the 200 freestyle relay.

Timbers and O’Donnel added a 6-10 finish in the 200 individual medley. Timbers and Raphael Popa came in 8-10 in the 100 freestyle and O’Donnel and Boerboom provided an 8-10 Irish showing in the 100 breaststroke.

Another scoring double came from Wenzel (seventh) and Anderson (ninth) in the 50 freestyle. Anderson added a 10th-place swim in the 100 butterfly.

Spaeth came in 10th in the 200 freestyle.

Stephen Satnik once again set the pace for the Irish in the dive, placing second out of 20 divers.

The Class 2A portion of the True Team state meet begins at 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at the U of M.

“We’re excited for this young team to go and perform on the big stage,” Kemna said.