Park boys swimming & diving: Dorsch breaks 30-year old school record, races to state meetAt last Thursday’s section preliminaries in Stillwater, Travis Dorsch broke Park’s record in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1 minute, 3.72 seconds, and went on to qualify for the Class AA state meet.
By: Sada Reed, South Washington County Bulletin
Park High School senior swimmer Travis Dorsch went into last week’s Section 4AA meet with every intention of breaking the school’s 100-yard breaststroke record.
He did just that – and more.
At last Thursday’s section preliminaries in Stillwater, Dorsch broke Park’s record with a time of 1 minute, 3.72 seconds. The previous record of 1:03.97 was set more than 30 years ago by Dennis Bibeau, a mentor who actually helped train Dorsch.
“As soon as I touched the wall, it got real quiet in the building,” Dorsch said. “I heard the audience just explode. I heard my whole team explode as well, then I knew I broke it. I turned around and looked [at the scoreboard], just to make sure.”
The finish propelled Dorsch into Saturday’s finals, in which he finished in 1:04.05, second only to East Ridge senior Justin Kong (1:03.40). The second-place finish earned Dorsch a first-class ticket to the Boys AA State Swimming & Diving Championship March 1 through 3 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
Dorsch is the first male swimmer from Park to advance to the state meet since then-senior Ty Nordtvedt advanced to the 2004 meet in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly.
“I’m at a loss of words,” Dorsch said. “I don’t know what to say. I’m kind of overwhelmed by all this, taking down the record and going to state. I went into that race with every intention of taking down that record and going to state, and I did everything I could to prepare for that. I left it all in the pool.”
Sections finished on a high-note for the Wolfpack overall, as two swimmers advanced to last Saturday’s finals. Besides Dorsch, who was the top-seed in the 100 breaststroke, freshman Adam Raymond advanced to the 500 freestyle finals. Fourth-seeded Raymond went on to finish seventh in 5:07.52, helping the Wolfpack earn sixth as a team with 184 points behind champion Stillwater (562) and runner-up East Ridge (386).
“We did an awesome job,” said third-year Park head coach Amanda Johnson. “We had two in the top eight for finals, but we had someone in every event for the consolation meet. For us that’s really good. I don’t think we’ve had that in a long time.”
Park was 3-9 (2-8 SEC) before last week’s sections, which included top-10 finishes from various members of the ‘Pack. Park’s 400 freestyle relay team, comprised of Conner Rand, Nick Wheelock, Matt Henry and Raymond, took fifth with a time of 3:32.01, and its 200 medley relay team, made up of Rand, Dorsch, Nick Popowitz and Jarrett Mansergh, finished sixth (1:49.11). Mansergh, Matt Denn, Henry and Raymond also finished sixth in the 200 freestyle relay (1:39.58).
As individuals, Rand finished ninth in the 100 freestyle (51.42) and 10th in the 50 freestyle (23.67), while Henry took 10th in the 200 freestyle (1:55.34). Nick Germscheid led Park’s divers with 270.10 points for ninth place.
“This season has been the best season for the boys since I’ve been coaching,” Johnson said. “Each year it seems to get progressively better. As a whole, it’s been an awesome season. I couldn’t have asked for anything better out of the boys.”
Dorsch’s season, however, is not yet complete. Class AA boys swimming preliminaries begin at 6 p.m. Friday. Finals will be at 6 p.m. the following day.
“I go back to practice, and I work hard for one more week in preparation, trying to get my best time and try to advance to the state finals. I might not, maybe I will, but we’ll see,” Dorsch said on Sunday. “I don’t know what to expect. All I know is when I get there, I’m going to leave it all in the pool, just like I did at sections.”