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January 22, 2022

12/23/2021 10:59:00 AM
Wildcats start out with a Mississippi 8 split

The Chisago Lakes boys swimming and diving team was the last one to get going this season, but they jumped right into Mississippi 8 Conference play on December 9 against Princeton.

Princeton 98, Chisago Lakes 88
It was a competitive meet throughout, but an early lead that was staked by the Tiger’s 200 individual medley swimmers held up for Princeton.

The Tigers won the first four events, including three o the top four finishers in the 200 free and a first-second finish in the IM.

But, the elite trio of Storm Opdahl, Tobie Stiles and Jimmy Nord nearly erased the deficit by sweeping the top three spots in diving. At that point, Princeton only led 40-38.
Over the next four events, Princeton built their lead back up and actually looked like they may run away with the meet, but Nord and Tanner Betts grabbed the top two spots in the 100 backstroke, and that got CL back into the meet at 84-72.

Jackson Cunningham took first in the 100 breaststoke, backed up by Nick Olson’s third place, and that put CL in position to make a move in the last event of the night, the 400 relay, down by only eight points.

If they could sweep the top two spots, they would’ve gained 10 points on the Tigers, but Princeton had a strong quartet that ended up winning the race. Betts, Charlie Sprado, Vincent Adams and Max Arnston finished in second, just behind. CL’s other foursome finished in third place, keeping Princeton ahead and sealing the win at 98-88.

“We swam and dove really well.  We had some great out of the gate times and diving was really good too,” Head Coach Ellen Heath said. “Max Arnston and Vince Adams both swam really fast.  Storm Opdahl swam the sprints well and took first in diving.  We had a couple of really close relay finishes too that just didn't go our way.  But we had a great back half of the meet and came on strong in backstroke and breaststroke.”

Heath said it’s still early  in the season and the distance swimmers needs some more training.  “But the speed and motivation and competitiveness is in our athletes,” she added. “Overall, it was a very solid performance to build on.”

Chisago Lakes 102, Cambridge-Isanti 77
The Wildcats took out their disappointment from the season opening loss on the Cambridge-Isanti Bluejackets on Thursday, December 16.

With a few non-COVID illnesses running around the team, plenty of swimmers stepped in to impress.

Adams won the 200 freestyle and Arnston came in first place in the 200 individual medley. That staked CL to an early lead. Normally, at the diving portion of the event, the ‘Cats make up a ton of ground, but only Stiles dove. He easily won first place, but didn’t have the normal support from Opdahl and Nord.

Luckily, Adams and Olson won back-to-back first places just after diving, with Adams winning the 100 fly and Olson the 100 free.

Adams, Tim Classen, Olson and Opdahl pretty much sealed the event with a first place finish in the 200 free relay. Betts, Evan Sundberg, Sprado and Chris Marchant teamed up for second place, so CL outscored the Jackets 12-2 in the event.

Cunningham won the 100 breaststroke again beore the Wildcats began to swim exhibition, with an insurmountable 102-65 lead.

“We were highly motivated and competitive, and we performed well,” Heath said. “We have fast sprinters and strength in our relays.  We struggled again in distance but are improving.  With the. holiday break we should get healthier and have an opportunity to focus on some deeper training.

But thus far, they have been some impressive early season competitions for us.”

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