Summer splash: Greenman earns state swimming berth, Boysen is right behind her

Published 5:19 pm Wednesday, July 19, 2023

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It is mid-July and the high school swimming season is more than a month away, but Austin freshmen Gracie Greenman and Abbie Boysen are up at 6 a.m. as they are dipping in the cold water at Municipal Pool to swim laps.

That work ethic has only been strengthened by a recent performance at a summer Regional Championship meet, where Greenman earned state berths in the 100-meter and 200-meter backstrokes. She swam the 100 in a time of 1:12.14 to take first and she swam the 200 in 2:39.55 to take first, after being seeded eighth. 

The state meet will be held  in Rochester July 27-30.

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“I’m really excited because I made it in the 100 back, which is one of the races I wanted to make it to state in during the high school season last year,” Greenman said. “I’m close to the Ellis Pool record and I really want to get that.”

Boysen ended up .02 seconds from a state berth in the 50-freestyle as she finished with a time of 30.55 seconds.

Greenman also took fifth in the 200-meter individual medley and she took 12th in the 100-meter freestyle.

“I did time trials and I was ready and I was going. When I was two-hundredths of a second off, I was pretty upset. But that just gives me motivation. I’ll get it next year,” Boysen said. “I really want to go to state eventually and I’d like to get scholarships for college.”

Boysen took eighth in the 100-meter freestyle, 12th in the 200-meter freestyle, 18th in the 100-meter backstroke, seventh in the 50-meter freestyle and 27th in the 200-meter individual medley.

Greenman took 20th in the 500-yard freestyle in last year’s Class A swimming and diving meet and her and Boysen both swam on the 200-freestyle relay team that took 18th at state last year and both have high hopes for the upcoming season, which begins in Owatonna on Aug. 31.

This summer, both Greenman and Boysen have swam with the Atlantis Swimming Federation with Mark Viniski. Some of Viniski’s former swimmers include two of the area’s best in recent years in AHS grad Logan Kelly and Albert Lea grad Lindsey Horejsi. Viniski sees potential in Greenman and Boysen and he’s glad to see local swimmers back in the pool for the summer after Atlantis suffered a major lull during the pandemic.

“They’ve been doing well. At some point they realize ‘I did well in one meet, now I’ve got to keep doing well.’ They can’t rest on their laurels,” Viniski said. “I try to plant the seed in their head that swimming is a great way to get to college. It can get you on the radar of a coach and it’s not that every school pays scholarships, but if you go to a school and swim, you’re in a family and that family is going to help you.”

Swimming outdoors in the summer presents some unique challenges as Austin’s pool is 10-lanes and the distance is much longer than Bud Higgins Pool in Ellis, which means there are less turns and more straight swims.

“It’s way different than the high school team. The challenge is so much different,” Greenman said. “I get up every morning and I do something productive instead of just laying in bed all day. That will help me in the future.”

Austin freshman Hunter Peters also competed in the Regional at the Municipal Pool, taking sixth place in the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 29.53 seconds.