Fast Four: Packer state qualifiers are motivated to chase the podium

Published 6:36 pm Monday, February 26, 2024

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Four Austin swimmers have made the best out of being on a small team this season and now they’re going to finish the year at the biggest swim in the state.

Sophomore Brent Dahl, freshman Hunter Peters, junior Lucas Meyers and senior Zach Evenson will all be swimming at the Minnesota Class A swimming and diving state meet at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center at the University of Minnesota. The preliminaries are set for noon on Friday and the Class A finals are set for noon Saturday. 

Dahl and Evenson will both swim in four events at the state meet and the nerves are a lot less this time around as this is the second state meet for each of them.

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“Last year I was really nervous and this year I know what I’m doing,” Evenson said. “We’ve driven each other a lot and that has something to do with coach (Ryan) Kelly. He pushed us really hard every day. I honestly think if we had some terrible coach who didn’t help us like we did, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Maybe Brent would be, but I don’t know about the rest of us.”

Dahl has already made a big mark on the AHS swim program as he broke the 500-yard freestyle, which had belonged to AHS grad Logan Kelly, who is the son of coach Ryan Kelly. Logan, who won a state title for the Packers in the 200-yard freestyle in 2021, is now in his third year as a swimmer for Division I IUPUI.

“I’ve been looking at that record the whole time I’ve been here. To have coach Kelly pushing me and cheering me on the whole time was great and breaking it meant a lot,” said Dahl. “It wasn’t one of his stronger records, but breaking any of Logan’s records is a huge deal. He really put in a lot of work.”

Peters is looking forward to his first state meet and he’s going to soak up as much information as he can. He’s already learned a lot from swimming with Myers, Dahl and Evenson all season long.

“I’ve learned a lot from everyone, but I’ve pushed Brent a little bit in one stroke,” Peters said. “These guys have all been in big meets and they’ve helped me out a lot. This will be a learning experience for me. I’m looking to get faster.”

Myers is no stranger to the state meet as he grew up watching his older brothers Trey and Sawyer in multiple state meets.

“I’ve watched a lot of state meets over the years, and I’m really excited to go back to state again,” Myers said. 


200-medley relay: The team of Brent Dahl, Hunter Peters, Lucas Myers and Zach Evenson is seeded 12th with a time of 1:41.63.

200-individual medley: Brent Dahl is seeded second with a time of 1:56.52.

50-freestyle: Zach Evenson is seeded 19th with a time of 22.52 seconds.

100-freestyle: Zach Evenson is seeded 15th with a time of 49.38 seconds.

500-freestyle: Brent Dahl is seeded third with a time of 4:47.48.

400-freestyle relay: The team of Brent Dahl, Hunter Peters, Lucas Myers and Zach Evenson is seeded 14th with a time of 3:23.66.