The Maple Grove boys’ swim and dive team placed 10th at last week’s state meet, with an individual state champion, a runner up, and new two school records set in the process.
Six Crimson swimmers advanced to state in nine individual events. The team also qualified three relays for the meet. Seniors Mike Rouleau and Dan Ebert, and junior Brenner Hohenstein each competed in two individual events. Seniors Aaron Dabson, Matt Strauss, and Alex Robb qualified in one individual event each, and senior Andrew Wong qualified as a relay swimmer for the meet.
Hohenstein led the Crimson in points. He broke his own school record in the 100 breaststroke in prelims, and followed with an even faster time as he won the state championship in the event the next night. His time of 57.08 is an All-American Consideration time. (See related article). Hohenstein also placed ninth in the 200 individual medley with a personal best time.
Rouleau was Maple Grove’s second highest point scorer. He was the runner up in the 100 backstroke with an All-American Consideration time of 51.29. Rouleau’s time also broke a school record that has stood since 2001.
“That was a great swim,” said Maple Grove coach Ron Jacobsen. “Mike went out and raced very well.”
Rouleau wasn’t all disappointed in his runner-up status. He said, “I’m very happy with that race. My goal was to swim a 51 and I did. Sam (Hansen) and I knew it could be either of ours on any given day. To lose by seven-hundredths of second doesn’t mean a lot in the long run. I beat him in prelims, he won in finals. This won’t be the last time we race.”
Rouleau also placed 10th in the 200 freestyle with a personal best time.
Ebert swam best times in both the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke. In the 200IM, he placed 12th and in the 100 breaststroke, broke the one-minute barrier to place seventh with a time of 59.06.
After the meet, Ebert reflected on being a part of the Crimson Swim and Dive family. Ebert said, “I am extremely thankful for everything the team has done for me. Ron and the team have been incredibly supportive, and I’m very proud to have had the privilege of being a part of it.”
Dabson contributed to Maple Grove’s point total by placing 15th in the 100 butterfly in a very fast field. Robb placed 16th in the 100 breaststroke, and Strauss took 20th place in the 500 freestyle.
Maple Grove’s relays contributed important points to the team’s effort. The 200 medley relay of Rouleau, Hohenstein, Dabson and Wong qualified for finals with their fastest time of the season, and turned around the next night and swam even faster. The foursome took sixth place.
The 400 freestyle relay of Rouleau, Ebert, Hohenstein, and Dabson placed 15th; in prelims they swam 3:15.78, their fastest time of the season. The 200 freestyle relay of Wong, Ebert, Robb, and Dabson placed 20th.
“Relays are where you really see the team come together. People think swimming is only an individual sport, but it’s not,” said Rouleau. “Relays are the most fun. You’re in it together, pulling for your team, and doing your best because your swim truly impacts everyone else’s success.”
Ebert concurred. “Being able to swim on relays with these guys was great. We were definitely in it together, for the team,” he said.
“We swam very well,” Jacobsen said of his team’s effort. “To finish with a state champion, a runner up, 10th place as a team, and a lot of best times was a great finish to the season. I’m very proud of them.”