Six swimmers and two divers from Orono and Mound Westonka (OMW) have advanced to the Class A Boys State Swimming and Diving Tournament Feb. 28-March 2 at the U of M.
The OMW co-op team is required to compete as separate teams in the post season. At 2A Sections, Orono finished 4th with 255 points, and Mound Westonka was 3rd with 264 points following Monticello (466 points) and first place Breck/Blake (468 points). The top 16 finishers in prelims competed in section finals, where the top three finishers in each event advanced to State—as do those who qualify by time during finals.
“Sections went really well especially after all the ups and downs we’ve gone through this year,” said Orono senior captain Mitch Miller. “Everyone’s been working hard throughout the whole season and taper and it’s really paid off.”
Mound Westonka senior captain Merv Moorhead continued, “Not only are we are sending quite a few people to State, Mound rose to the occasion and set five new school records—including diving and all three relays.”
Senior diver Tyler Jordahl also set a meet record with 410 points to continue his season undefeated. Westonka junior Tanner Azeltine finished 3rd with 347.55 points and will compete at State with Jordahl. Orono junior Beau Bordson and Orono eighth grader Alex Schrock medaled in the top-8 at fifth and seventh.
The all-senior Westonka 200-medley relay with captain Merv Moorhead, Damian Urwyler, Conner Anderson and captain Ryan Strother took first with 1:40.44, setting new school record. These same swimmers also set a school record in the 200-free relay with 1:30.38, edging out Breck/Blake at 1:30.49 for third place. Both Westonka relays are No. 4 seeds in the State line-up.
Orono’s 200-medley relay with freshman Chase Olsen, eighth-graders Andrew Kileen and Sig Muller and Miller finished 5th with 1:50.83. Orono had three swimmers in the 200-free. Senior captain Spencer Cumming medaled at 6th with, sophomore Alexander Graham and eighth-grader Alex Reyman at 11th and 12th.
Orono continued tallying points in the 200 IM as Olsen medaled at 7th with Muller and seventh-grader Peter Sherek at 10th and 11th place.
Four from Mound Westonka competed in the 50-free. Strother took second with 22.14, just behind Monticello’s first-place finisher Jack Fair at 22.12. Urwyler and Moorhead medaled at 6th and 7th, while senior Blaze Vicknair contributed points at 12th place. In the 100-fly, Anderson medaled for Westonka at 4th (58.53) with Orono’s Muller at 10th and senior Daniel Thompson at 12th.
In the 100-free, Miller finished 4th for Orono with 49.05, with Westonka’s Strother at sixth with 49.36. Both with State qualifying times. Vicknair finished 12th for Westonka
Four Orono swimmers competed in the 500-free, with Cumming finishing 3rd with a State qualifying time of 5:08.56. Olsen and Graham medaled at 7th and 8th with Reyman finishing tenth. Orono’s 200-free relay (Graham, Muller, Sherek and Cumming) finished 7th with 1:41.78.
Both Orono and Mound Westonka will send swimmers to State in the 100-yard back. Miller finished second with 54.92, followed by Moorhead in 3rd with state-qualifying time of 56.35, a new school record. Orono eighth-grader William Brenton was 11th with Westonka eighth-grader Alec Otteson at 13th.
Urwyler advances to State in the 100-yard breaststroke with a 3rd place finish and state cut time of 1:04.31. Orono’s Thompson contributed at 15th.
Orono and Mound Westonka battled each other in the 400-free relay. Orono overpowered their neighbors in the third leg for 4th place with 3:32.70. While Westonka took 5th. Seniors Vicknair, Nicholas Johnson, Leon Heath and sophomore Miguel Octavio set a new school record with 3:43.36.
“There is no better way to conclude a season than how we performed this weekend,” commented Moorhead.