by Eric Oslund
The Elk River boys swim/dive team had a busy weekend that began on Thursday, Jan. 5, against Park Center. They came away with a 95-69 win and improved to 4-0 in their conference, 4-1 overall.
They took first and second in every event against Park Center, which was good to see since they were swimming a lot of their boys in events that may not be their strong suit.
“We swam some guys is off events tonight,” said head coach Denise Green. “We like to have every team member swim each event at least once a season. We had lots of those swims tonight. It is fun for them to swim different events, and we sometimes find a surprise that we didn’t realize until we see them try different strokes and different distances.”
The Elks then had a short break before returning to action on Saturday at the Spring Lake Park Invitational. They knew this was going to be a much tougher test for them, especially because they see Spring Lake Park as one of the teams that could truly stand in their way of winning the conference title for the third season in a row.
Spring Lake Park defeated the Elks in the conference relays earlier in the season, but the Elks more so use that meet for fun and to try out new things. So this invitational was the first time these two teams would be able to give everything they had against one another.
The Elks ended up taking first place out of eight teams with a score of 499. They were followed by Spring Lake Park (460.5), Monticello (346), Dassel-Cokato (287), Buffalo (267), Fridley (189), Cambridge (147) and Robbinsdale Cooper (125.5).
Some highlights from the invitational include a first-p[lace finish in the 200-yard medley relay from the team of Ben Kopp, Coleman Maegi, Preston Schmeidel and Zach Kopp. They finished with a time of 1:41.39, their best time of the season.
Zach Kopp also won the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events, setting a new varsity record in the 500 with a time of 4:52.79. His brother Ben also had a good night, winning the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard backstroke – his 52.75 in the backstroke was a new pool record.
Schmeidel came in third in the 200-yard free and won the 100-yard butterfly, to go along with his first-place finish as a member of the medley relay.
The Elks ended the night by winning the 400-yard relay, with the team of Zach Kopp, Schmeidel, Trey Chilstrom and Ben Kopp finishing with a time of 3:23.58.
“We had some great swims and several personal bests and season best times,” Green said. “We have a better idea about SLP leading into the Jan. 19 meet. The dual meet scores differently, and it will be a close meet.”
Up next, the boys swim/dive team will host Irondale on Friday, Jan. 13. The dual was originally going to be held in Irondale, but has been moved to Elk River because of pool issues at Irondale.