March 31, 2011 at 9:17 a.m.

CL swimmers back up conference title with multitude of awards

CL swimmers back up conference title with multitude of awards
CL swimmers back up conference title with multitude of awards

After winning their first ever North Suburban Conference championship, the Chisago Lakes boys swimming and diving team sent five guys to the state tournament.

Ryan Smith went in the 500 freestyle, as well as a part of the 4x400 freestyle relay.

Matt Mattson, Eric Barnes and Avery Turman joined him in the relay.

Those five, along with a few other impressive swimmers from Chisago's magical 2010-11 run were recognized with awards at their annual banquet earlier this week.

All-Conference - Ryan Smith, Matt Mattson, James Falkowski, Mitch Gebauer, Sam Engel, Jake Doble

All Conference Honorable Mention - Eric Barnes, Avery Turman

4A All-Section Team - Ryan Smith, Sam Engel, Mitch Gebauer, Avery Turman, Matt Mattson

Head Coach Mark Nordby had plenty to say about his guys and the accolades they achieved, "This was a great group of guys all season. Each day they would come into practice, focus on technique while pounding out good yardage," he said. "For me the highlight was the True Team State Meet. It really showed our depth and how hard these guys have been working. We don't have a swim club program here and for us to go down to the University of Minnesota and compete against and beat six out of the 12 teams -- most of whom have several year round club swimmers -- is a testament to the work the guys put into their season."

Besides just the awards that the conference doles out, the team also gives out their own awards after the season is complete.

TEAM AWARDS

Captains: Ryan Smith and Matt Mattson "We had great team chemistry this year and part of that is due to our senior captains," Nordby said. "Ryan and Matt rallied the troops when needed and added leadership that's required of strong teams."

Most Valuable Swimmer: Ryan Smith. "Ryan brought a whole new level to training each day in practice and did the work in the off-season. He will be missed for his strong work ethic and dedication."

Most Improved JV: Tyler Buhr. "Tyler did a great job in just his first year of swimming," Nordby explained. "His technique improved greatly and he had a fantastic JV Championship Meet."

Most Improved Varsity: Ethan Engstrom. "Ethan came to nearly every optional morning practice and really dropped major time at the section meet," Nordby said.

Wildcat Team Award: Sam Engel. "Sam embodies the spirit of the team with his love of swimming and technique. He'll coach swimming someday and his teams will be great," praised Nordby.

Rookie Award: David Lange. "In just the first year of swimming, David showed blazing speed and will be looking to get to state next year," Nordby stated.

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