Packers have high hopes for state meet

Published 6:39 pm Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Austin boys swimming and diving team is hoping to make multiple trips to the podium at the Minnesota Class A State Swimming and Diving Meet with competitors seeded in the top-six in six different events.

One state qualifier who knows what its like to get on the podium is sophomore swimmer Logan Kelly, who took fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke and eighth in the 200-yard individual medley in his first ever state meet appearance last year. Kelly is seeded to finish higher in both events this season and he’s also a key member of both of Austin’s state qualifying relay teams.

“State is a really fun meet and the pool is really fast,” Kelly said. “Last year my first race in the finals I felt the nerves a little bit and I didn’t swim how I wanted to. I’m hoping the nervousness will go down a bunch this year.”

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Rafe Dolan Peterson, a junior, is also in line for a big meet as he is seeded in the top-three in the 100-yard butterfly and the 100-yard backstroke. It will be the third state meet appearance for Dolan Peterson, who is looking to make this one count.

“It’s a different environment from sections,” Dolan Peterson said. “You know everybody in sections, but people in state are crazy and they will swim different times that you don’t expect them to. You really have to race as fast as you can.”

Austin junior diver Riley Norton is also in his third state meet. He battled an injury last season and he battled nerves as a freshman, so he’s hoping for a podium performance this year. He said it helps to have four teammates supporting him when he’s on the board.

“We try to boost each other up before meets,” Norton said. “It’s kind of nice to hear ‘you can do this’ and it makes you go a little faster or harder. In diving, I’m not the best but they’re always acting like I am and that makes me feel like I can do anything. It really drives us.”

The Austin 200-yard medley team of Dolan Peterson, Kelly, Aaron Knoll and Trey Myers already made a big splash when they broke an AHS record that had stood since 1991 in the Section 1A Meet. Now they’re hoping to build off that momentum at state.

With no seniors competing at state, Knoll said the Packers are just learning how good they can be.

“Ultimately we’ve learned what we’re capable of and how good we can be even after this year,” said Knoll, who is competing in his second state meet. “We have so much more room for improvement.”

Myers, a junior, is the lone Packer who will be making his state debut this weekend. He said he’s learned from practice how to find that competitive edge.

“I’ve been around swimming for a long time. It’s been my goal to make it to state and it’s nice to see that goal being achieved,” Myers said. “We’ve really pushed each other hard in practice and that’s gotten us the times that we’ve had this year.”

The Minnesota Class A State Diving Meet preliminaries will be held at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis at 11 a.m. Thursday. The swimming preliminaries will be held at 11 a.m. Friday and all finals will be held 11 a.m. Saturday.


The Austin 200-yard medley relay team of Aaron Knoll, Rafe Dolan Peterson, Trey Myers and Logan Kelly is seeded third out of 21 teams with a time of 1:37.84. 

Kelly is seeded sixth out of 28 swimmers in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:58.53 and he is seeded second out of 22 swimmers in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 57.74 seconds.

Dolan Peterson is seeded second out of 21 swimmers in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 51.71 seconds and he is seeded third out of 24 swimmers in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 53.31 seconds.

Myers is seeded 15th out of 24 swimmers in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 56.29.

The Austin 400-yard freestyle relay team of Dolan Peterson, Myers, Kelly and Knoll is seeded fourth out of 21 teams with a time of 3:16.42.