Swimming: Packers are hoping to make historyPublished 8:45pm Monday, February 25, 2013
For the first time in at least five years, the Packers have enough competitors at the Class ‘A’ state swimming and diving meet to make some serious noise.
Austin is sending three relay teams, with two of them seeded in the top-five, and a total of seven swimmers who will also compete in four individual events, to state this year.
“It’s gonna be so much fun,” said Austin sophomore Sawyer Myers, who will be competing in his first state meet. “I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.”
The Packers are hoping to put some swimmers in the finals and the group of Craig Heimark, Ian Christopherson, Carson Hackel and Nick Brehmer are hoping to break some school records.
The four swimmers are on the 200-yard and 400-yard freestyle relay teams, which were both within a second of breaking school records at the Section 1A meet Saturday.
Hackel, a senior who will swim in three relays at state, said the records have been in his sights all season.
“We want to break those records really bad and we’ve talked about it all year,” he said. “We’re so close and it’s right in front of us, just teasing us.”
Heimark said the Packers expected to make it to state and now their hard work will really begin. The freshman, who swam at state last year, surprised himself with his finish in the 200-yard freestyle at sections, when he finished right behind Brehmer and earned an individual trip to state.
“I gave a double look to my time to make sure it was mine,” Heimark said. “Keeping up with Nick in practice and meets has been hard, but it’s worth it.”
Christopherson, who is swimming in his second state meet, will also represent Austin in the 50-yard freestyle. He said the Packers will feel more like a team at state with so many qualifiers, but he said the goals have also gotten much bigger this year.
“I think we have more pressure now, because we have the chance to actually do something at state,” he said. “We have a chance to be with the top few teams.”
Austin senior Alex Laury, who will be swimming in his first state meet, said it’s been very enjoyable to have so many swimmers doing well.
“I’m very excited and everyone has worked incredibly hard to be here,” he said. “Usually you can sit around for awhile. But there was someone in almost every event that I could cheer on and everyone dropped time.”
Austin freshman Seth Clasen, who will swim in his first state meet this weekend, said he has learned a lot over this season from his older teammates.
“They help in stressful situations. You can go and talk to them and they tell you what to do,” he said.
PACKERS ARE COMING IN FAST
The Packers are sending a total of seven swimmers to compete in three relays and four individual events at the Class ‘A’ state meet, which will hold its preliminaries at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center Friday at noon. The finals will take place at the Aquatic Center Saturday at noon.
200-yard medley relay: Austin’s team of Sawyer Myers, Alex Laury, Seth Clasen and Carson Hackel is seeded 15th out of 23 teams with a time of 1:44.52.
200-yard freestyle: Nick Brehmer is seeded fourth out of 25 swimmers with a time of 1:46.47. Craig Heimark is seeded seventh with a time of 1:47.69.
50-yard freestyle: Ian Christopherson is seeded 15th out of 21 swimmers with a time of 22.59 seconds.
100-yard freestyle: Brehmer is seeded sixth out of 26 swimmers with a time of 48.86 seconds. Brehmer’s section time is .87 of a second from an Austin school record that was set in 1992.
500-yard freestyle: Sawyer Myers is seeded 23rd out of 30 swimmers with a time of 5:09.75.
200-yard freestyle relay: The team of Heimark, Christopherson, Hackel and Brehmer is seeded fifth out of 26 teams with a time of 1:30.48. The team’s section time is .53 of a second from an Austin school record that was set in 1991.
400-yard freestyle relay: The team of Heimark, Christopherson, Hackel and Brehmer is seeded second out of 26 teams with a time of 3:16.90. The team’s time at the section meet is .89 of a second from breaking an Austin school record that was set in 1978.