by Dennis Dalman
Although they took third place at the True Team Class A Swim-and-Dive meet, the Sartell Sabre boys’ swim team was elated just to be among the top three winners in the Jan. 24 event.
That’s because St. Thomas Academy has for many years been a just about unbeatable team, and Breck-Blake, who took second place, is also a consistent winner.
It was the sixth year in a row the Sabres competed at the state level.
Their coach, Jason Anderson, said he’s extremely proud of the 31 team members who competed.
“We were happy to get a medal down there (the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center),” Anderson said. “We’re very proud of our finish. There were many highlights, but the big story is the overall team depth we got in the relays and individual events. In this type of event every person scores, so even though we may not have had the fastest person in any particular event, our average speed outpaced the field. We are led by 11 seniors who do a great job of motivating the team and keeping everyone focused on our goals.”
The Sartell swimmers-divers have given their all through a grueling schedule of five meets in just nine days.
“So to end that stretch with such a great effort at the True Team State Meet really shows the power of our senior leadership,” Anderson said. “As a coach, it’s great fun to coach this team. All of these young guys work very hard and come to practice with a positive outlook. I really could not ask for a better group.”
The Sabres team score was 1,881 points. St. Thomas Academy accrued 2,417.5 points, and Breck-Blake earned 2,066.5 points. Simley was fourth with 1,590 points.
Other teams who competed in Class A competition were Spring Lake Park, fifth place; Mankato West, sixth; Northfield, seventh; Melrose-Sauk Centre, eighth; Austin, ninth; Monticello, 10th; Chisago Lakes, 11th; and Hibbing, 12th.
Anderson noted two Sabre team members had to miss the state meet. Diver Cole Schoerers was ill, and sprinter Chad Peichel couldn’t participate because of a shoulder injury.
Highlights of the meet included two individual third-place finishes for Spencer Sathre – in the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly; and a second-place finish by Mitchell Dockendorf in the 100-yard backstroke.
In addition, captains Erik Skoe had a personal best in the 500-yard freestyle, and Zach Weiler had a personal best in the 100 butterfly.