Area swimmers qualify for state meet
APPLE VALLEY — Woodbury junior Timothy Rizzo won the 500-yard freestyle, while East Ridge junior Carter Smith took the 200 individual medley and classmate Casey McGrath won the 100 freestyle to highlight efforts by area swimmers in the 2018 MSHSL Boys Section 3AA Championships Friday.
McGrath outdueled Woodbury's Lukas Hruby to win the 100 freestyle in 48.64 seconds.
Eagan repeated as the Section 3AA team champions, winning the title with 463 points in the meet held at Blue Water Aquatic Center in Apple Valley.
Eastview was second in the team race with 354 and East Ridge third with 337. Woodbury finished fifth with 186 points and Park sixth with 169.
Rizzo raced to a convincing win in the 500 freestyle in a time of 4:42.82, well under the state qualifying standard of 4:51.07. Rizzo was also second in the 200 freestyle in a state qualifying time of 1:44.92.
"We had Timothy Rizzo win the 500 free, almost tying his time that he went last year which sets us up," said Woodbury head coach Martin Hoven. "We're looking at the state meet for his best time and we're already there. So we're excited about that.
Hruby was second in the 100 freestyle in 49.09 and fifth in the 200 freestyle in 1:47.38.
Woodbury was second in the 200 freestyle relay with the team of Jaron Kittelson, Hughdan Liu, Hruby and Rizzo finishing in 1:31.11.
"Lukas Hruby did great in the 100 free, qualifying for state the first time," Hoven said. "Our 200 free relay was missing one of our regular guys but the four guys came through and also qualified for state so really positive there."
"The team in general had a number of good swims in prelims," Hoven added. "That was a focus this year was trying to improve in prelims. The atmosphere is a little different and we wanted those younger swimmers to try and improve and we did that. Our divers performed well at diving this year. We're just looking forward to state and representing Woodbury."
East Ridge results
East Ridge's Smith won the 200 IM in 1:56.97, knocking 3.38 off his preliminary time. He was third in the 100 butterfly in 52.98.
East Ridge was third in the 200 medley relay in 1:41.07 with the team of Carlo Mallari, Jakow Heide, Carter Smith and Noah Cagle.
Casey McGrath was fourth in the 200 freestyle in 1:45.60, qualifying for state with the time.
East Ridge was third in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:32.42 with the foursome of Trevor Speakman, Mallari, Ryan Langstraat and McGrath. The Raptors were also third in the 400 freestyle relay with the team of McGrath, Noah Cagle, Speakman and Smith finishing in 3:19.08.
Mallari was fourth in the 100 backstroke in 56.05.
"We had a few guys step up tonight," said East Ridge coach Meghan Weiss, who was named the section coach of the year. "Carter Smith and Casey McGrath for sure, those are the two qualifying for the state meet. But this was the best finals we've had in my three years here. Everyone stepped up."
Hogan Lawson was fourth in the 100 freestyle in 50.41 and fifth in the 50 freestyle in 22.85.
Dylan Purrington of the Wolfpack finished fifth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:03.90.
Next up for the qualifying swimmers is the state meet, set for Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3 at the Jean K Freeman Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota campus. The Class AA boys swimming events will begin at 6 p.m. both nights.