The big splash for the Bluejackets at last weekend’s Section 7AA Finals came from divers Parker Brown and Cody Hemmelgarn who earned State berths by placing 1st and 2nd in Friday’s portion of the meet.
Brown, a junior, racked up an All-American consideration 377.45 points to make a repeat trip to State. Sophomore Hemmelgarn totaled 344.55 points for his first berth. Senior teammate Micah Gertz added to the diving total of 59 team points by placing 7th with 273.15 points.
“Parker scored 116.9 points on his last three dives, which is a pretty big number. His last dive was an inward 1 1/2, and he hit that one pretty good for mostly 7’s and scored over 45 points,” replayed C-I Diving Coach Kelly Brown. “Cody’s big dive was his front 2 1/2 pike with a difficulty of 2.6. He just learned it a few weeks ago and had yet to throw it in a meet. So, as soon as he successively completed that dive for 5’s and a total of over 40 points, I knew he was sitting good.”
Coach Brown pointed to the OT workload both her son and Hemmelgarn put in to rise in the standings.
“Parker and Cody both made huge strides this year due to their strong work ethic. Parker has been diving during the summer for the past few years four or five days a week. Cody joined him this past summer, and you can really see the difference,” said Coach Brown. “Also, starting in January, they drive down to Centennial for an evening practice two days a week. Last year at sections, Cody was 13th. He improved almost 75 points on 11 dives, and Parker improved over 50 points on 11 dives.”
The Class AA Diving prelims will be 6 p.m. Feb. 28 at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center. Semifinal survivors will finish diving at Saturday’s finals (6 p.m.). Last year’s top six State divers graduated, with senior Keith Krawza of Eagan (7th) being the lone returning medalist.
C-I Swim highlights
The Bluejackets finished 6th as Anoka maintained its strong run in the section by winning its sixth-straight team title via a large margin over runner-up Blaine. Senior Calvin Cicha offered the C-I swimmers the closest shot to reaching State when he placed 3rd in the 100 Breaststroke at 1:03.0– less than 3/10s of a second from the 2nd-place berth. Cicha also finished 5th in the 200 IM at 2:05.2.
Senior Darren Codner added good team points when he placed 5th in the 100 Freestyle (51.2) and 8th in the 50 Free (23.3). Sophomore John Solberg went 5th in the 100 Backstroke. All three relays dropped nearly 4 seconds from their prelim times, with the 200 Medley of Solberg, Cicha, Josh Minnihan and Chase Griffin placing 5th.
More top 10 results for the Bluejackets came from Joe Lewis (8th 200 Free) and Adam Baxter (8th 100 Breaststroke).
“We really had a good section meet for a young team with 12 members new to section competition. It was great to see the boys stack up 39 career-bests in the prelims. The team has grown so much throughout the year,” said C-I Coach Gary Gotz.
Section 7AA Boys Swim & Dive
Anoka 428, Blaine 337, Andover 320, Forest Lake 313.5, Champlin Park 268, Cambridge-Isanti 237, Duluth East 117.5, Coon Rapids 82.
Bluejacket results: Diving– Brown 1st 377.45; Hemmelgarn 2nd 344.55; Gertz 7th 273.15. 200 Medley Relay– (Solberg, Cicha, Minnihan, Griffin) 5th 1:46.7. 200 Freestyle– Lewis 8th 1:56.8; Edblad 14th 1:59.9; Heinen 18th 2:05.9; Niebel 25th 2:15.2. 200 IM– Cicha 5th 2:05.2; Baxter 17th 2:23.2; Solberg 20th 2:25.2; Cameron 24th 2:32.5. 50 Free– Codner 8th 23.3; Griffin 17th 23.9; Hunt 21st 25.2; Zacharias 26th 26.2. 100 Butterfly– Minnihan 15th 1:01.7; Hunt 19th 1:03.5; Grandgennett 23rd 1:10.0; Rud 24th 1:14.5. 100 Free– Codner 5th 51.2; Lewis 13th 53.2; Griffin 14th 54.4; Niebel 27th 58.6. 500 Free– Edblad 14th 5:28.8; Heinen 17th 5:38.2; Lind 21st 5:52.0; Monroe 25th 6:02.7. 100 Backstroke– (Cicha, Griffin, Lewis, Codner) 6th 1:33.8. 100 Backstroke– Solberg 5th 58.7; Maas 15th 1:05.5; Cameron 25th 1:24.0. 100 Breaststroke– Cicha 3rd 1:03.0; Baxter 8th 1:08.0; Minnihan 20th 1:13.3; Zacharias 23rd 1:14.3. 400 Relay– (Codner, Lewis, Edblad, Solberg) 6th 3:28.8.