2/9/2017 4:18:00 PM Chisago Lakes wraps up regular season in fine form
The Wildcats wrapped up their regular meet season in the last two weeks with a Mississippi 8 Conference match up against Buffalo, and a tune up tourney at Cambridge-Isanti.
Buffalo 101, Chisago Lakes 80 “Buffalo is a very well-coached team that competes with the utmost class and sportsmanship. They are a good team and we have had some VERY close meets against them the past few years. Almost all of them were single digit differences in points. It was a great meet to have our Senior night and Parents' night,” Head Coach Brian McNally said.
The coach went on to explain what the three seniors have meant to the program this year and in their whole careers.
“Andy Gombold, who has swam for six years, and mainly swims butterfly and IM has really grown in his leadership and will be greatly missed next year. Josh Falkowski, who has also swam for six years, is our best breast stroker and a very talented IM swimmer as well as some freestyle sprints. Josh has had two brothers also swim on this team. It will be strange to have a Chisago Lakes team without a Falkowski on it,” McNally said. “Finally, Sam Gustafson, a senior pure sprinter who came out for swimming for the first time as a sophomore. He has really blossomed recently as a premier sprinter. Last year he medaled in the 100 Free at sections and also earned a medal on the school-record setting 400 free relay that advanced to state.”
At the meet, it was a tight race through diving, but then the Bison started to pull away for the win.
“It was not destined to be the close fight to the finish that many of our other Buffalo dual meets have been. That being said, there is no way I could be disappointed in my team. We had personal bests all over the roster,” McNally explained. “From our veteran guys to our newer guys, they all swam fast dropped time. It was truly one of those special meets for a coach when you see your whole team clicking at the same time. They were all on the same page, swam together, cheered together, and made me deeply proud.”
200 Medley Relay: 1st Place: This was their best time of the season so far! Back - Ethan Harris Breast - Josh Falkowski Fly - Andy Gombold Free - Sam Gustafson
50 Free: Both of their best times of the season, by quite a bit. 1st - Sam Gustafson 3rd - Justin Ewert
100 Fly: 1st - Ethan Harris 3rd - Andy Gombold 5th - Dylan Anderson
100 Breast: (our only 1-2 finish of the night) 1st - Josh Falkowski 2nd - Eric Braun
Bluejacket Invite “This is always a great invite for us to go to. We get to see lots of teams that are right at our caliber. Though most of them are AA teams, they are always a great match for us at this point in the season,” McNally said. “We get to do our last bit of fine tuning as we prepare to taper for sections. This meet gives our guys one more chance to get out there and race no matter their skill level.”
The Wildcats ended up placing sixth of out eight teams, but they were only a couple place swaps away from catching Coon Rapids, “We took away a lot of lessons as we build for our section meet. We got better, cheered for each other, and took another positive step together as a team,” McNally opined after the meet. “We were missing a few of our key guys due to illness and other reasons, but our younger guys stepped up and did their very best. It was a fun meet to be a part of.”
Top 10 performers were: 200 Medley Relay: 7th Place: Ba- Justin Ewert Br- Josh Falkowski Fl- Andy Gombold Fr- Sam Gustafson
200 IM: 9th - Josh Falkowski 10th - Andy Gombold
50 Free: 4th - Sam Gustafson
100 Free: 5th - Sam Gustafson 10th - Bryce Burds
500 Free: 9th - Eric Braun
200 Free Relay: 8th Place: Josh Falkowski Andy Gombold Dylan Anderson Bryce Burds
100 Breast: 2nd - Josh Falkowski
400 Free Relay: 3rd Place: Justin Ewert Eric Braun Bryce Burds Sam Gustafson
Mississippi 8 JV Conference Championships On Friday, the junior varsity team wrapped up their season. “They have worked hard this season and come a long way since Thanksgiving break. We had a team with MANY talented young and new swimmers. Some of them made the section roster and will compete at that level, but for the others, this was their chance to taper down and swim their best times of the season,” McNally said.
A huge crew of varsity guys traveled to St. Michael to cheer on the JV swimmers. “It made me incredibly proud as a coach to see the support of our varsity swimmers for their fellow Wildcats!” the head coach said. The only medalist on the day for the CL junior varsity squad was Javon Ayers, who finished in fifth in the 100 breaststroke.