The boys’ swim and dive team competed in the Cape Rock Invitational in Cape Girardeau Sept. 7, finishing eighth overall.
Kicking off the meet with the 200-yard medley relay, the team of sophomore Nick Clervi, senior Jack Koller, junior Turner DeArmond, and sophomore Jackson Veltrop finished sixth with a time of 1:46.48, making a state consideration time (When a swimmer makes an automatic state cut, they automatically get to swim at state. When a swimmer makes a state consideration cut, if there aren’t 32 people swimming in an event yet, that swimmer gets to swim at state).
In the second event, the 200 Freestyle, junior Turner DeArmond finished first with a time of 1:47.53, making an automatic state cut, while sophomore Jackson Veltrop finished seventh with a time of 1:51.35, making a state consideration cut. Meanwhile, junior Andrew Knowles finished 34th with a time of 2:14.78, and senior Alex Fritschi finished 46th with a time of 2:26.22.
In the 200 individual medley, junior Aiden Dunne finished 37th with a time of 2:38.54, Knowles finished 39th with a time of 2:38.78, junior Kenji Kuwajima finished 43rd with a time of 2:47.37, and A. Fritschi finished 47th with a time of 2:55.37.
In the 50 freestyle, junior Mohammed Abu-Salah finished 36th with a time of 26.82, freshman Zach Coughenour finished 43rd with a time of 27.69 and senior Allen Whitaker finished 52nd with a time of 29.77.
The team is super supportive and everyone pushes each other to get where they want to be.”
So far, it was shaping up to be a great first meet for the Bruins, with a few automatic and consideration state cuts, and with almost all swimmers going near their personal bests. At this point in the season, the Bruins were doing exactly what they wanted to do.
During the 15 minute break, tensions were low and emotions ran high, with the Bruins joking around and enjoying a few minutes of rest.
“The team is super supportive and everyone pushes each other to get where they want to be,” Abu-Salah said “This past weekend was really enjoyable and really brought the team back into the competitive atmosphere.”
The second half of the meet starts with the 100 Butterfly, Koller finished 9th with a time of 57.46, Clervi finished 18th with a time of 1:01.70, and Abu-Salah finished 32nd with a time of 1:07.60. In the 100 freestyle, junior Eric Fritschi finished 26th with a time of 56.33, Coughenour finished 39th with a 1:02.07, Kuwajima finished 46th with a 1:06.23, and Whitaker finished 50th with a 1:07.77. In the 500 freestyle, DeArmond and Veltrop finished first and second and get automatic state cuts, with DeArmond achieving a 4:54.96 and Veltrop going 4:56.28.
Moving to the 100 breastroke, Koller finished 8th with a state consideration time of 1:05.53, E. Fritschi finished 26 with a time of 1:16.01, Dunne finished 46th with a time of 1:26.95, and McClary finished 49th with a time of 1:29.77.
“It was a fun and unique experience. [It] was a good start to what I feel is going to be a great season.”
In the 200 freestyle relay, the team of E. Fritschi, Whitaker, Dunne, and Kuwajima finished 20th with a 1:55.68. In the 100 backstroke, Clervi finished 4th, making a state consideration time of 57.22, junior Noah Robinson finished 34th going 1:16.49, and sophomore Tyson McClary finished 40th with a time of 1:21.53.
The second half of the meet seemed to be following the trend of the first, and the Bruins were proud of themselves. The Bruins were accomplishing exactly what they had set out to do.
Even though it’s early September, the Bruins let themselves relax and enjoy the heat and sunshine, having fun with their swims and not getting too caught up in what could’ve gone better.
“It was a fun and unique experience,” Veltrop said. “[It] was a good start to what I feel is going to be a great season.”
Although Cape Central will be one of the Bruins’ biggest competitors at state, the Bruins chose to live in the moment, having fun and just seeing what they could do at the first meet of the season.
At the end of the meet, DeArmond found himself in a three-way tie for the award of swimmer of the meet, being one of the three swimmers to win both of their individual events. Overall, the Bruins finished eighth and left Cape Girardeau content with their performance and optimistic for the rest of the season.
“It was a great first meet,” head coach Taylor Birsa said. “I felt like we raced hard, but it was a good meet to see what we need to work on in practice.”
What are your hopes for the boys’ swim and dive team this season? Let us know in the comments below.