Stingrays swim team: Stingray swimmers contest Mankato in final home meet of season
WORTHINGTON — After a stirring rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” by Stingrays assistant coach Kristin Walerius, the Stingrays swim team took to their pool and tangled with the Mankato Marlins on Saturday in their last regular season meet of the year.
While outdoor temperatures were more palatable than the polar vortex of last week, and the atmosphere in the pool was refreshingly tropical as always, it was the competition that proved hottest of all on this day.
“Mankato is some of the toughest competition we face,” asserted long-time Stingrays head coach Donna Damm.
Supporters of both sides packed the stands and parents, family and fellow teammates displayed good spirit and cheered vociferously until the final race of the meet.
From the beginning, almost every event was closely contested, but the Stingrays thrived in the intense atmosphere.
“The meet went really well for the end of the season,” beamed Damm. “We added one more swimmer to our regional team today, as Morgan Hockel qualified in her 50 freestyle and Sophie Wietzema added her seventh individual event by qualifying in the 100 freestyle.”
The healthy competition surely aided Stingray swimmers, as several improved their time in two — or even three — events. Cameron Jenson was again victorious in three contests and Bryan Doeden, Nathan Johnson, Oliver Wolyniec, Jakeb Hooge and Ivy Jenson all took home the gold in two races.
As a team, the Stingrays tallied 19 first-place and 20 second-place finishes. The second and third-place finishes would certainly be hard-fought and well earned, as the difference between second and third in one race was only .05 of a second, and the margin of victory in other events were .10-.20 of a second or less.
The Stingrays will march across the state to Winona for the Southwest Section meet on Jan. 26. Their section foes include Mankato, Albert Lea, Winona and Austin.
Results from Saturday’s meet are as follows:
First place individual finishers
Ivy Jenson (Girls 8 and under 25 back, 25 breast), Jakeb Hooge (Boys 8 and under 25 free and 25 breast), Nick Freese (Boys 9-10 50 back), Anwar Farra (Boys 11-12 50 breast), Blaine Doeden (Boys 11-12 50 fly), Nathan Johnson (Boys 13-14 100 free and 100 breast), Max Langerud (Boys 15 and over 100 IM), Kyle Janssen (Boys 13-14 50 free), Meredith Moore (Girls 15 and over 100 back), Cameron Jenson (Boys 15 and over 200 free, 200 IM, 100 fly), Oliver Wolyniec (Boys 15 and over 50 free, 100 breast).
Second place individual finishers
Emma Haren (Girls 8 and under 50 free), Ivy Jenson (Girls 8 and under 25 fly) Christian Hooge (Boys 8 and under 25 free), Jakeb Hooge (Boys 8 and under 25 back), Sophie Wietzema (Girls 9-10 50 breast and 100 free), Nick Freese (Boys 9-10 50 breast), Hannah Rahn (Girls 11-12 50 free), Blaine Doeden (Boys 11-12 50 breast), Max Langerud (Boys 13-14 100 breast), Kyle Janssen (Boys 13-14 100 back and 100 fly), Morgan Hockel, (Girls 15 and over 100 back), Madison Neuberger (Girls 15 and over 50 free, 100 breast), Sarah Janssen (Girls 15 and over 200 free), Levi Blanchard (Boys 15 and over 100 breast), Ben Doeden (Boys 15 and over 100 free).
First place relays
Mixed 8 and under 100 medley (Emma Haren, Ashley Freese, Ivy Jensen Jakeb Hooge), Boys 13-14 200 medley (Kyle Janssen, Nathan Johnson, Blaine Doeden, Max Langerud), Boys 15 and over 200 medley (Ben Doeden, Levi Blanchard, Cameron Jenson, Bryan Doeden), Boys 15 and over 200 free (Cameron Jenson, Levi Blanchard, Ben Doeden, Oliver Wolyniec).
Second place relays
Mixed 8 and under 100 free (Ashley Freese, Christian Hooge, Emma Haren, Jakeb Hooge), Boys 11-12 200 medley (Nick Freese, Anwar Farra, Sammy Farra, Kalen Brands), Girls 15 and over 200 medley (Meredith Moore, Madison Neuberger, Ashley Muller, Sarah Janssen), Boys 10 and under 200 free (Evan Lorenz, Sammy Farra, Jakeb Hooge, Nick Freese), Girls 11-12 200 free (Lexi Freese, Elliot Espenson, Anika Klassen, Mackenzie Hockel), Boys 13-14 200 free (Anwar Farra, Kalen Brands, Andrew Dorcey, Blaine Doeden), Girls 15 and over 200 free (Madison Neuberger, Meredith Moore, Morgan Hockel, Sarah Janssen), Boys 15 and over 200 free “B” relay, (Nathan Johnson, Kyle Janssen, Max Langerud, Bryan Doeden).