January 27, 2011 at 9:15 a.m.
The Chisago Lakes swimming and diving team kept their perfect record in tact with a commanding victory over North Suburban Conference foe Robbinsdale Cooper.
Much like more of their meets this year, the 'Cats seized an early lead, and never loosened their grip until they started swimming exhibition.
Nathan Braski, James Falkowski, Sam Engel and David Lange got things going for CL in the 200 yard individual medley. Their 1:56.64 actually tied them with Cooper's top relay team and earned both teams six points. But, the Wildcats claimed the third place finish and it gave them the early 8-6 lead.
Chisago Lakes stretched the lead to 12 after the second event when Matt Mattson, Avery Turman and Aaron Wiger went one-two-four in the 200 freestyle.
Much like their dual meet win over Fridley, the Wildcats were able to flaunt their depth, even when not winning first place in an event. The 200 individual medley crown went to a Cooper swimmer, but Ryan Smith, Engel and Falkowski finished in second, third and fourth to still expand the lead.
Mitch Gebauer, Konner Doble and Eric Barnes painted a grim picture for the Hawks with a one-two-four finish in the 50 freestyle. Those finishes left the 'Cats up 20 points with seven events left, since the Cooper pool doesn't feature diving.
The lead kept ballooning, as the Wildcats wouldn't lose an event the rest of the way. Once their lead was stretched to 48 points, they let off the gas and swam exhibition. Among the winners in the second half of the swim meet were Mattson in the 100 freestyle, Smith in the 100 backstroke, Vrudny in the 100 breaststroke, Mattson, Barnes, Gebauer and Smith in the 400 free relay and Gebauer, Lange, Barnes and Turman in the 200 free relay.
With the exhibition swims over the last few events, Cooper made it a respectable finish at 94-71, but the outcome of the meet was never too much in doubt.
Chisago Lakes 102, Princeton 76
The Wildcats stepped out of their conference schedule for a brief and lopsided tilt with the Princeton Tigers last week.
They got off to their typical blazing-fast start, going one-two in the 200 medley relay and one-two-three in the 200 freestyle. The point accumulated made it a 25-5 lead through only two events.
The 'Cats almost made it three meets in a row without losing a single event until swimming exhibition. They were best 9-7 in th 100 freestyle. The winners, however, were plentiful on the night. Turman, Vrudny and Hawkinson piled it on in the individual medley, Gebauer, Mattson and Joe Eikens all scored points in the 50 freestyle, Gebauer, Jake Doble and Jake Carlson dominated the diving, Smith, Falkowski and Vrudny swept the top three spots in the butterfly.
Engel, Jake Ewert and Ethan Engstrom pulled off a similar feat in the 500 freestyle, but by then, the thrashing was on. After building a 64 point lead, the 'Cats swam exhibition for the last three events, an the final tally was 102-76 in favor of Chisago Lakes.
True Team Section 3A at Minneapolis Edison
The Wildcats bested the small field at Minneapolis Edison to claim the true team section meet last weekend.
The meet featured host Minneapolis Edison, as well as a familiar foe for CL, North Suburban Conference nemesis Fridley.
Although they didn't hoard first place finishes like they have done most of the year, the Wildcats show enough depth and enough talent to run away with the three-team meet.
The 'Cats earned 74 points alone in the first event. Engel, Falkowski, Vrudny and Gebauer finished in second place in the 200 yard medley relay in a time of 1:50.20, earning them 22 points.
Wiger, Turman, Konner Doble and Lange finished in third place at 1:56.38, earning them 20 points, and Austin Reed, Beau Hawkinson, Riley Darling and JJ McGuire finished in fourth place in 2:02.72, gaining 18 points for the Wildcats.
They weren't done in the event yet, though. Andrew Steward, Nate Braski, Eli Klatt and Tyler Buhr, a team composed of two sophomores, a freshman and an eighth grader, finishing in sixth place with a time of 2:09.14, which earned CL 14 points in the event.
Their depth proved to be a backbreaker for the other two teams over the next few events. Despite a first place from Fridley freshman Colter Allen in the 200 yard freestyle, Smith, Barnes Ewert and Engstrom all finished in the top six for the Wildcats.
Fridley actually earned first place in the first five events, but with the Wildcats claiming most of the other top spots, the meet remained close. The first of only two wins for Chisago Lakes' individuals came when Engel bested the field in the 100 butterfly. Matt Broos of Fridley came in second, but then Falkowski, Vrudny and Darling rounded out the top five for CL.
The only other individual victory came from Engel again. He topped the heat in the 100 backstroke by almost six seconds
In the 400 freestyle relay, Chisago Lakes really distanced themselves from any other challengers. They finished in first, and placed in four of the top five spots. In true team, relays really pile up points, and Chisago Lakes showed that. Smith, Turman, Barnes and Mattson were the top finisher, Konner Doble, Ewert, Wiger and Engel comprised the second place team, Reed, McGuire, Falkowski and Engstrom made up the fourth place time and Darling, Steward, Rockenback and Buhr finished in fifth place in the event.
The totals added up to 80 points for the Wildcats, as Fridley was only able to compile 50 in the event. For the complete meet, Chisago Lakes ran up 551 points to win, Fridley scored 393 to finish in second and host Edison scored only 102 points to finish in last.