Packers are ready for state swimming and diving meet

Published 6:18 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Austin boys swimming and diving team is going to be very well represented at the Minnesota Class A State Swimming and Diving Meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The Packers have six athletes competing in a total of 10 events and it’s bringing back memories for Austin senior swimmer Mitch Mayer, who will be competing in his third state meet.

“This year reminds me of my ninth-grade year when I was an alternate at state,” Mayer said. “It was really exciting because all of these records were getting broken and all of those Austin greats were in the pool. We’re kind of mimicking what that team did.”

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Austin senior swimmer Isaac Christopherson, who is in his fifth state meet, was on that team and he said it makes a big difference when the team has state qualifiers in multiple events. Staying active keeps the team involved and invested in the majority of the events.

“I’m less stressed out this year and this is the most comfortable I’ve felt,” Christopherson said. “But I know I’m going to become a nervous wreck when we’re on deck waiting for the events.”

Austin’s Isaac Christopherson swims in the 200 freestyle this season. Herald File Photo

Austin sophomore Riley Norton is back in the state meet for the second-straight year after he took ninth place last season.

“I’ve got high hopes this year,” Norton said. “Last year I don’t think I performed the best under the pressure. This year it’s a little less nerve racking.”

Austin freshman Logan Kelly is in his first state meet but he has high hopes as he is on both state qualifying relay teams and he is seeded fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke and sixth in the 200-yard individual medley. Kelly was a little intimidated when he saw Big Nine and Section 1A champ Grant Wollner was seeded third in the breaststroke, but he’s ready to swim his best at state.

“It kind of scares me because I know there are two swimmers faster than [Wollner],” Kelly said. “I’m hoping I can finish in the top three.”

Rafe Dolan Peterson, a sophomore, is in his second state meet and he’s not feeling any pressure.

“I’m not really nervous,” Dolan Peterson said. “I should be able to perform better than last year.”

Austin senior Ethan Thompson is swimming in his second-straight meet and he said the overall speed of this year’s Packer team has helped push everybody.

“Everybody challenges everybody in races and in practice,” Thompson said. “It helps a lot.”

Diving preliminaries will take place Thursday at 11 a.m., swimming preliminaries are Friday at 11 a.m. and the finals will take place Saturday at 11 a.m.

Austin’s Riley Norton makes his first dive in a dual this season. Herald File Photo


200-yard freestyle relay: Austin’s Isaac Christopherson is seeded ninth in with a qualifying time of 1:46.79.

200-yard individual medley: Austin’s Logan Kelly is seeded sixth with a qualifying time of 2:00.96 and Rafe Dolan Peterson is seeded 11th with a qualifying time of 2:02.05.

50-yard freestyle: Austin’s Mitch Mayer is seeded eighth with a qualifying time of 22.11.

100-yard butterfly: Mayer is seeded ninth with a qualifying time of 54.46 and Dolan Peterson is seeded 13th with a qualifying time of 54.89.

100-yard freestyle: Christopherson is seeded sixth with a qualifying time of 48.41.

500-yard freestyle: Austin’s Ethan Thompson is seeded 12th with a qualifying time of 5:01.56.

200-yard freestyle relay: The team of Mayer, Dolan Peterson, Kelly and Christopherson is seeded eighth with a qualifying time of 1:27.57.

100-yard breaststroke: Kelly is seeded fourth with a qualifying time of 59.62.

400-yard freestyle relay: The team of Dolan Peterson, Kelly, Mayer and Christopherson is seeded fifth with a qualifying time of 3:20.73.