Boys swimming & diving: Stars shine bright in state prelimsWoodbury seniors Greg Norsten and Victor Lugg and East Ridge seniors Matt Koken and Austin Davidson shined brightest at the state preliminary round, held March 2, at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, reaching the finals in three of the maximum four events they qualified to state in.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, Woodbury Bulletin
Area swimmers made a splash at the 2011-12 boys swimming and diving state meet.
Woodbury seniors Greg Norsten and Victor Lugg and East Ridge seniors Matt Koken and Austin Davidson shined brightest at the state preliminary round, held March 2, at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis.
Norsten, Lugg, Koken and Davidson all reached the finals – reserved for the top eight finishers at the state prelims – in three of the maximum four events they qualified to state in.
Norsten looks well-poised to defend his state title in the 200-yard individual medley. Norsten won the 200 IM prelims with a time of 1:51.80, which was an All-American time. He touched the wall nearly four seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, Nikita Dolin of Rochester Century, who had a 1:55.27 time. Davidson finished in third place in the 200 IM prelims with a time of 1:55.87. Norsten also reached the finals in the 500-yard freestyle, taking second place with a time of 4:35.81. Only Noah Lucas of Mounds View was faster, at 4:35.65.
Lugg finished in second place in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.08. Eden Prairie junior Aaron Greenberg won the race in a time of 20.93. Lugg also qualified for the finals in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 46.74. Minnetonka junior Noah Busch won the 100 free in 46.14.
Norsten and Lugg also teamed up to qualify for the 200-yard freestyle relay, along with juniors David Khazanovich and Nate Henning, taking eighth place with a time of 1:28.39. Eden Prairie won the race with a Minnesota all-time record of 1:24.31.
Koken earned third place in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 50.96. Eden Prairie senior Maverick Hovey, the defending state champ in the event, won the race in 50.03.
Davidson reached the finals in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 52.77, which was good for seventh place. Kyle Robrock, a senior from Prior Lake, won the race in 50.28.
Koken and Davidson also combined to reach the finals in the 400-yard freestyle relay, along with freshman Kent Rabideaux and sophomore Sam Scholz, taking sixth place with a time of 3:13.91.
The East Ridge 200-year medley relay team of Davidson, Kong, Koken and Scholz also qualified for the finals with a time of 1:38.60, which was good for sixth place. Woodbury finished in ninth place, one spot out of the finals with a time of 1:39.52. Rosemount had the top time – 1:33.99.
Individually for East Ridge, just missing the finals were: senior Justin Kong, who took 15th in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:03.17, freshman Garrett Verhoeven, who took 18th in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:54.02 and Scholz, who finished 20th in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 55.18 and 23rd in the 200 IM prelims with a time of 2:01.49.
The finals will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at the U of M Aquatic Center.