The Cambridge-Isanti boys had a splitting of emotions after the Section 7AA Swim & Dive finals were completed on Saturday: excitement for entering State in five events after a day of good swims versus battling the disappointment for finishing second to Anoka for the third straight winter in the team standings.
The afternoon finals held at the Northdale pool in Coon Rapids opened with the Bluejackets’ 200 Medley Relay placing 3rd as Anoka’s entry slipped past them for the second State berth by a slim 27/100s of a second. But senior David Voller bolstered the energy on his team by winning the next event, the 200 Freestyle.
“That was a race. Mitch (Kampf of Anoka) raced tough. It was wild coming down that last stretch,” said Voller. “It was awesome to repeat as section champ in the 200. It was something I wanted to do all year, and it was nice to see it happen.”
Along with Grant McCormick and Dylan Maas placing in the top 8 in that 200, the Jackets held an early lead over the Tornadoes. But Anoka placed three in the top 8 in the ensuing 200 Individual Medley to retake the lead, and they didn’t relinquish it the rest of way.
The Jackets’ next State berth came when senior Jacob Berry cruised to a win in the 100 Butterfly at 53.7.
“I was hoping get to something near that time. It was nice to see the time clock at the end of the race,” he said.
Berry later finished 2nd in the 100 Backstroke to get back to State in that event.
“I didn’t swim as fast as I wanted to there, but it was faster than my section time last year,” said Berry. “Got a few things to work on before State. When I’m fully tapered that time should drop down and hopefully I’ll have a chance to medal in the backstroke again.”
More close calls for State berths came from senior Jason Codner who placed 3rd in both the 50 and 100 Freestyle sprints. Voller also worked for a 3rd place in the 500 Freestyle.
The Jackets’ 200 Free Relay of Codner, Calvin Cicha, McCormick and Voller broke back through with a 2nd-place effort to reach State, slipping ahead of Anoka’s relay by less than a second. The frosting then came in the day’s last race when the Bluejacket foursome of Codner, Voller, Nault-Maurer and Berry dropped 9 seconds from its prelim time to win the 400 Free Relay.
“We’re two seconds off our team record in the 400, so we can go after that at State,” said Voller.
“That was a nice way to end this meet, that 400 Free. It’s been waiting all year to come together like that, and there’s a lot more there,” said C-I Coach Gary Gotz. “The key piece we needed was that third leg with Benj, and his time is right where we need it to be. So we’ll try to take out the school record down at the pool at the U. We’ve kind of made Swiss cheese out of our record board already this year.
“We just had some really strong swims both days. David had beautiful races both in the 200 and 500. That was his last 500 of his career, and it was his best time ever. Nice way as a senior to end that. Jason Codner finished strong with two 3rd places. He had stroke issues all year that came together today. Timewise, he’s right where we need him to be for those relays at State. “Jake’s Fly was beautiful, and hopefully that will put him somewhere near the top at State. He’ll be there in the Backstroke, too.
“Our divers performed well, too– they all got their personal-bests. Parker just did amazingly well off the board yesterday.”
The Tornadoes officially clinched the 7AA crown after placing 3rd and 4th in the 100 Breaststroke. The Jackets tipped their swim caps to them after a strong three days of competition.
“Sure, we’re a little disappointed with the team standings. We wanted to beat Anoka, but they deserved to win this meet,” finished Coach Gotz whose team was crowned the 7AA Academic champions again. “Our kids swam well, it was just a good meet all the way down the line– a lot of great swims in this meet from all the teams.”
• The Class AA swim prelims get underway at 6 p.m. Friday night at the U of M Aquatics Center, with the top 16 in each event returning for Saturday’s finals.
Team: Anoka 401, Cambridge-Isanti 360.5, Forest Lake 258, Andover 244, Duluth East 228.5, Champlin Park 211, Blaine 186, Duluth Central 160.5, Coon Rapids 89.5.
200 Medley Relay: (Berry, N.Solberg, Acre-Kendall, Nault-Maurer) 3rd 1:42.6.
200 Freestyle: Voller 1st 1:49.6; G.McCormick 6th 1:58.1; Maas 8th 2:01.2; Larson 26th 2:08.4.
200 IM: Cicha 9th 2:12.7; Acre-Kendall 13th 2:20.4; D.Codner 17th 2:24.6.
50 Free: J.Codner 3rd 22.72; K.McCormick 14th 24.6; N.Solberg 19th 24.7; Jones 20th 24.9.
Diving: Brown 9th 229.9, Stewart 11th 212.4, Eifert 12th 222.3; Lyzhoft 18th 152.1.
100 Butterfly: Berry 1st 53.7; Acre-Kendall 4th 56.4; G.McCormick 11th 1:00.9; Morley 24th 1:07.6.
100 Free: J.Codner 3rd 49.8; Nault-Maurer 51.6; Jones 16th 55.2; K.McCormick 18th 55.3.
500 Free: Voller 3rd 5:14.2; Maas 10th 5:35.0; D.Codner 18th 5:39; Larson 23rd 5:52.
200 Free Relay: (J.Codner, Cicha, G.McCormick, Voller) 2nd 1:32.4.
100 Backstroke: Berry 2nd 55.3; Nault-Maurer 6th 1:01.0; Sima 10th 1:01.2; J.Solberg. 13th 1:03.6
100 Breaststroke: Cicha 6th 1:06.5; N.Solberg 8th 1:07.4; Taray 12th 1:09.8; Morley 20th 1:13.8.
400 Free Relay: (J.Codner, Voller, Nault-Maurer, Berry) 1st 3:19.9.