Packer relay team shines at state swim meetPublished 9:10pm Sunday, March 3, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS — A pair of Packer relay teams came through with two of the best finishes that Austin has had at the Class ‘A’ state swimming meet in the past five years at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis Saturday.
The team of Craig Heimark, Ian Christopherson, Carson Hackel and Nick Brehmer earned all-state honors and placed fifth in the 200-yard and 400-yard freestyle relays. The 200-relay team broke its own school record by .17 of second.
The previous record was set in 1991.
“It’s a great way to end your last race ever,” Hackel said. “I’ve been swimming with Nick since we were sixth graders and it’s cool that I had my last race with him.”
The Packers also got one last revenge race in against Faribault. The Falcons beat Austin in the 400-relay at the Big Nine meet to move ahead of the Packers in the standings. That wasn’t going to happen again as the Packers edged out fifth place Faribault by .47 of a second Saturday.
“We’ve gone after them in every meet since then and we went four for four,” Brehmer said. “It’s a little bit of a friendly competition, but you always want to come out on top.”
Freshman Craig Heimark, who was swimming in his second career state meet, said it felt great to get on the podium at state. He’s looking forward to having another chance at state in his years to come.
“It was really fun just being up here and looking back at the times,” Heimark said. “The four of us came really far as a team, but it’s a bummer because next year we won’t have Nick or Carson. It will be fun to try and get the records again.”
Heimark will also likely be chasing Austin’s new 200-yard freestyle record. Brehmer took eighth in the event on Saturday and he set Austin’s new record in Friday’s prelims with a time of 1:45.38. The mark had stood since 1977.
“He’s already called me out on going after my record,” Brehmer said.
Christopherson said the four teammates grew closer throughout the season and being on the podium together was the best way to end their run together.
“These three are great friends and great teammates,” he said. “We each brought each other a long way and it’s a great feeling.”
Brehmer, who will swim at UW-La Crosse next season, couldn’t think of a much better ending to his high school swimming career as he reached the podium for the first time in his fourth state meet.
“We left it all out there,” Brehmer said. “We knew the state was fast, but we’ve dropped 13 seconds (in the 400 relay) since the beginning of the season. Finishing fifth in state, getting all state and setting records is just a fun way to end it.”
The Packers finished 12th out of 38 teams at the meet with a score of 80. St. Thomas Academy won the meet with a score of 263.
200-yard medley relay: Sawyer Myers, Alex Laury, Seth Clasen, Carson Hackel (14th, 1:44.40)
200-yard freestyle: Nick Brehmer (eighth, 1:47.49)
50-yard freestyle: Ian Christopherson (15th, 22.51)
100-yard freestyle: Brehmer (15th, 49.05)
200-yard freestyle relay: Craig Heimark, Christopherson, Hackel, Brehmer (fifth, 1:29.36)
400-yard freestyle relay: Heimark, Christopherson, Hackel, Brehmer (fifth, 3:17.05)