January 26, 2012 at 8:27 a.m.

Wildcats finish fourth at True Team State

Wildcats finish fourth at True Team State
Wildcats finish fourth at True Team State

Chisago Lakes 99, Spring Lake Park 76

The Wildcats kept their perfect conference record in tact despite a looming performance at the True Team State Meet.

"On paper, Spring Lake Park had some talented swimmers and depending on how we matched up, could have been a lot closer," Head Coach Mark Nordby said after the meet. "I told the guys that even though we beat them at True Team Sections, the dynamics can change when it's just the two teams head to head. But, I didn't think we would beat them in such a dominating way."

Through five events, the Wildcats led by 30 points and by the time they moved to exhibition swimming to keep the score from looking too mangled, they lead by almost 60 points.

The Wildcats got a big boost from the returning Mitch Gebauer, who finished first in the 50 and 100 freestyle events.

"Mitch Gebauer had a good night with two first place finishes," Nordby said. He later quipped, "He's got excellent fast twitch speed that's crucial for sprint events. Put it this way, Mitch will never be in the 500 free for Chisago Lakes."

"Avery Turman has really become a great all-around swimmer which showed after putting him in the longer freestyle events and he snapped up two first place finishes."

Top 3 Finishes

200 Medley Relay: Engel, Falkowski, Lange, Vrudny - 1st 1:48.25

Eikens, N. Braski, Darling, K. Doble - 3rd 1:53.53

200 Free: Avery Turman - 1st 2:00.60, Eric Barnes - 2nd 2:01.57

200 IM - Sam Engel - 2nd 2:17.08, Beau Hawkinson - 3rd 2:20.85

50 free - Mitch Gebauer - 1st 23.81, Joey Eikens - 3rd 24.95

Diving - Jake Doble - 207.80 points, Jake Carlson - 193.15, Frank Brezany - 147.8

100 Fly - David Lange - 1st 59.69, Riley Darling - 2nd 1:02.81

100 Free - Mitch Gebauer - 1st 53.81, Eric Barnes - 2nd 55.01

500 Free - Avery Turman - 1st 5:28.30, Jake Ewert - 3rd 5:54.95

200 Free Relay - Barnes, Vrudny, Hawkinson, Turman - 1st 1:37.34, Lange, Gebauer, Braski, Eikens - 2nd 1:38.66

100 back - Zach Halfen - 2nd 1:07.09, Al Vrudny - 3rd 1:08.61

100 breast - James Falkowski - 1st 1:07.97, Beau Hawkinson - 3rd 1:12.07

400 Free Relay - Engel, Barnes, Lange, Turman - 1st 3:36.42, Ewert, Gebauer, Eikens, Hawkinson - 3rd 3:46.76

"I was a bit surprised at the ease of the victory and especially since our times were off from some tough training days before hand," Nordby said after the meet was over.

True Team State Meet

The Wildcats capped their impressive week with a fourth place finish in the true team state meet.

"What a super day of swimming and diving for Chisago Lakes," Nordby gushed. "To be one of the top 12 teams in the state gathered at the University of Minnesota and compete was special in and of itself. But, to take fourth is really a testament to the training the guys are doing."

The meet flaunts the depth of the top schools in the state, as each event features 48 competitors. "I love this format because every swim counts," the coach said. "You've got to have relays perform well and then get all the guys thinking as that every swim is critical to the outcome of the meet."

CL got off to a fast start by putting two relay teams in the 200 medley in the top 13 and another one in the 25th spot.. The two in the top 13 earned the 'Cats 154 early points.

Barnes and Ewert kept that momentum going with personal bests in the 200 freestyle, finishing 16th and 22nd. Ethan Engstrom and Tyler Buhr also had personal bests in the event.

"I knew we were off to a great day after our 200 free guys all had either season or lifetime bests," Nordby said. "That's always a relief to me to see the first individual event go so well. So Barnesy, Ewert, Engstrom, and Buhr got things hopping right away."

Engel had the most impressive day of any Wildcat in the pool, setting four personal records and had the highest individual finished for CL.

He finished fifth in the 200 individual medley in a time of 2:11.99 and fourth place in the 100 backstroke, lowering the school record to 57.99 seconds.

"Sam was ready to swim against some of the best in the state and prove he's right there with them," Nordby said.

Other Top Ten Finishes

Avery Turman - 200 IM, 9th place, 2:14.12

Jake Doble - Diving, 4th place, 316.30

David Lange - 100 fly, 9th place, 59.49

Barnes, Turman, Hawkinson, Vrudny - 200 Free Relay, 7th Place , 1:36.06

Lange, Gebauer, Braski, Eikens - 200 Free Relay, 8th Place, 1:37.10

"To have two relays in the top eight is not easy. These are the best teams in the state and our "B" relay was the fastest "B" relay and also placed ahead of five other teams "A" relays," Nordby noted. "That's some serious depth at the sprints for us."

Engel, Barnes, Gebauer, Turman - 400 Free Relay, 6th Place, 3:29.80

"That 400 free relay had a great time drop last weekend and now again, they knocked a few more seconds off," Nordby continued. "Under 3:30 at this point of the season is very good. The guys are pumped to see how low this relay can go.

"Overall we had a great day. It was nice for the guys and all of the fans who came to watch, to look up to the scoreboard and see that we are among the best of the True Teams in the state."

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