|2/19/2021 12:02:00 PM|
Another heart-pounding meet with Princeton goes down to last event
The Wildcats were already in one down-to-the-wire, thrilling event with Princeton earlier this year, and their second match up proved to have just as many fireworks.
Chisago Lakes was upby three points going into the last event and the relay quartets of Tim Classen, Carter Fredstrom, Sam Strand and Max Arntson and Evan Sundberg, Charlie Sprado, Christian Kray and Jarrett Hawksinson did just enough to hold off Princeton by finishing in second and third place, and securing the win by one point at 93-92.
The meet started out hot for Chisago Lakes as their 200 medley relay teams finished first and third to give them a 10-4 advantage right away. But, Princeton made up much of that deficit in just the second event with a one-two finish in the 200 freestyle.
Other than the one-two finish from Storm Opdahl and Tobie Stiles in the diving, the Wildcats didn’t actually get an event win for a bit until Hawkinson finished in the top spot in the 100 freestyle. That gave CL what looked like a comfortable nine point lead, but it vanished in one event as Princeton swept the top three spots in the 500 freestyle to turn a nine point deficit into a one point lead.
The momentum swings continued as Princeton extended their lead in the 200 free relay with a first and third place finish. That gave them a 73-66 lead with only three events left, and the ‘Cats were going to need to make a move.
That big move came in the 100 breaststroke. After trimming two points off the lead thanks to Evan Sundberg’s win in the backstroke, Chisago Lakes reclaimed the lead in the breaststroke with Nick Olson and Jackson Cunningham finishing one-two. Chris Marchant grabbed fourth, by three-10ths of a second, and that ended up being key, because it was a two point swing.
Those finishes catapulted Chisago Lakes from being down five to up three, which set up the final relay race.
Chisago Lakes didn’t win the event, but they didn’t need to. They just needed to put their two relay teams in the top three spots, and they got second and third.
“There were several unexpected fourth and fifth places that gave us an edge,” Chisago Lakes Head Coach Ellen Heath said. “Christian Kray had some outstanding swims in both the 200 and 500 free - dropped some significant time to place well and score some unexpected points. Max Arnston and Evan Sundberg both swam well - PRs in the IM and unexpected second place tie.
“Jarrett Hawkinson sped through to win the 100 free and was a force in the needed relays. Carter Fredstrom swam some excellent sprint times. Our breaststrokers again kept us close. Both Storm and Tobie scored high points and Storm's sprinting gave us some options to mix up relays but still score high points.
“We've been working on race strategies and the mental toughness of competing and those efforts paid off with excellent techniques. Some of their swimmers were actually faster than us, but we beat them on wall transitions and having the patience to pace races properly.”