OMW Boys Swim and Dive Repeat as Conference Champs
Complementing an undefeated season in the Wright County Conference, the Orono/Mound/Westonka (OMW) co-op boy's swim and dive team defended its conference title from last year in Hutchinson on Saturday. OMW scored 434.5 points leading the Watertown-Mayer Waconia Delano Holy Family team total of 352, Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield’s 271.5 and Hutchison’s 266.
“This is the first time our team has ever won back-to-back conference championships,” said Orono senior captain Kelvin Hanson, “and our medley relay team stepped it up to break its own record from the past year.”
"Everyone on the team did an impressive job, and this win has brought us closer together,” said Orono senior captain Tyler Stanchfield.
OMW took the lead early as its 200-yard free relay team of Orono junior Mitch Miller, Hanson, Mound Westonka senior captain Cole Easley and Mound Westonka junior Ryan Strother swam 1:42.40 (26.34/29.16/24.20/22.70) to finish first with a new conference record, shaving 1.15 seconds off last year’s record. T
he OMW “B” squad with MWHS swimmers junior Merv Moorhead, senior Morton Greenslit, junior Connor Anderson and junior Adam Kunz contributed with a fifth place finish at 1:50.25.
A first and fourth place finish in the 200-yard free from Stanchfield (1:55.19) and from Orono junior Spencer Cumming (1:58.07) kept the momentum going. Orono ninth-grader Alexander Graham and MWHS sophomore Luke Ramacier finished 10th and 13th.
In the 200-yard individual medley, Easley took first to set a new conference record with a 2:04.15, more than three seconds off his record from last year. Greenslit, Anderson and Orono eighth-grader Chase Olsen contributed with 5th, 9th and 10th place finishes.
Top finishes in the 50-yard free went to Strother (2nd, 22.82), Orono senior captain Ben Hacker (3rd, 23.08), Moorhead (7th, 24.00) and Kunz (tied for 8th, 24.35).
The Watertown Royals dominated diving, but solid performances from the OMW divers maintained the team’s lead. MWHS junior Tyler Jordahl finished third with 292.75 points, followed by MWHS sophomore Tanner Azeltine (6th, 248.15), Orono sophomore Beau Bordson (8th, 223.05) and MWHS junior Eric Anderson (12th, 165.15).
OMW had two swimmers in the 100 Yard Butterfly with Hanson taking second (1:02.71) and Orono junior Daniel Thompson finishing 9th (1:12.56). OMW’s 100 yard freestyle squad all dropped time with Miller at 50.86 for first place; Strother at 51.69 for third, Hacker at 53.94 (5th) and MWHS junior Blaze Vicknair at 57.60 (13th). OMW’s 500 Free squad earned first place (Stanchfield, 5:14.16); third place (Cumming, 5:24.46); sixth place (Graham, 5:45.48) and 13th (Ramacier, 6:07.39).
OMW went 2,3,4 in the 100-yard backstroke with Miller (57.86); Easley (58.60) Moorhead (59.80). Olsen finished 8th with 1:06.94.
Top finishes in the 100-yard breast stroke went to Hanson (2nd, 1:06.16); Greenslit (4th, 1:08.48), Anderson (9th, 1:15.37) and Thompson (12th, 1:20.06). The 200-yard free relay with Easley, Miller, Moorhead, and Strother narrowly lost to Hutchinson to take second with 1:32.87 (22.64/23.46/24.14/22.63).
Kunz, Hacker, Stanchfield and Cumming were 4th with 1:37.52. In the final event, OMW took second in the 400-yard free relay with Hacker, Greenslit, Stanchfield and Cumming (3:38.35) and took fifth with Vicknair, Anderson, Hanson and Graham (3:54.91).
“This was a great way to end the season,” said Easley.
The next step is to prepare for the 2A Section Tournament at Richfield on Feb. 23 and 25. As a co-op team, Orono and Mound must compete as separate teams at Sections and State.
“It’s a shame that Orono and Mound can’t swim together at Sections, but I know we’ll still make an impression and have loads of fun,” commented Hacker.