At the conclusion of the True Team Section 5AA Meet Jan. 18, the Maple Grove boys’ swim and dive team didn’t know if the True Team State Meet was in their future.
The Crimson finished in second place with 1,124 points; Wayzata won with 1,257 points, earning an automatic entry to the True Team State Meet. The winning team from each of the class AA sections earns an automatic entry to the state meet; times from the remaining teams are then compared head to head and teams are offered Wild Card entries to complete a field of 12 teams. Several hours after the conclusion of the section meet, Crimson coach Ron Jacobsen received a call congratulating the team on a Wild Card entry to True Team State scheduled for Jan. 25 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
“It’s a great opportunity,” said Jacobsen. “It will give our guys another chance to race, and it’s in a great facility. Some of our guys have never had the opportunity to swim in that pool.”
Jacobsen will make sure that every senior on his team has an opportunity swim in the meet. The True Team meet format is unique as it recognizes every team member’s performance in competition. Every participant in an event scores points, as compared to a typical dual meet, where only the top five swimmers score.
Maple Grove relays swam 11 of 12 season best times in the meet. The highest placing Crimson 200 medley relay was the second place team of senior Andrew Wong, junior Brenner Hohenstein, senior Aaron Dabson, and senior Alex Robb. The 200 freestyle all-senior relay of Dan Ebert, Dabson, Robb, and Mike Rouleau placed second, as did the 400 freestyle relay of seniors Rouleau, Wong, Matt Strauss, and Ebert.
In individual events, Maple Grove placed in the top ten 21 times. Rouleau, Dabson, and Strauss finished in first, fourth, and fifth in the 200 freestyle. In the 200 individual medley, Hohenstein, Ebert, and Wong touched the wall in succession, taking second, third, and fourth. Ryan Thompson, a senior, took fourth in the 50 freestyle with his season’s best time.
Diver Laurence Dickerson placed seventh in a field of very talented divers. Wayzata took the top four spots in diving; Trojan diver Eric Mitchell also set the pool record.
Maple Grove’s Dabson won the 100 butterfly by less than a quarter of a second; senior Zach McLain placed sixth.
Wayzata dominated the 100 freestyle, taking three of the top four places. Maple Grove’s Robb was the top Crimson finisher in 10th place.
The Crimson had a strong showing in the 500 freestyle, placing all four swimmers in the top 10. Strauss placed fourth with a strong effort, junior Graham Ganser came in sixth, junior Alex Patton placed seventh, and freshman Abe Vrudny placed tenth, besting his time by more than eight seconds.
In the 100 backstroke, Rouleau raced to the win and Wong placed sixth. In the 100 breaststroke, Hohenstein and Ebert raced to a one-two finish, with Robb and Patton touching fifth and ninth.
The Crimson next enter the True Team State Meet Jan. 25.