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Swimming and diving: Farmington's potential shows at Hopkins

Farmington’s Brandon Dion competes in the 200 individual medley. Dion was fourth in the event last Thursday against Hopkins.

Farmington swim coach Ryan Hamen saw the progress his team has made during last Thursday’s 99-84 victory at the Hopkins North Junior High pool.

The Tigers fell behind 26-20 through three events, but finished first in six of the final nine events to take the dual, 99-84.

“The Hopkins meet was a great eye-opener as to how much potential we really have,” Hamen said. “Looking at last year’s meet versus Hopkins, which was held at the same time of year, we are already ahead overall from where we were.”

Among those bettering their times from a season ago is Dan Berg, who started the Tiger rally by tying for first in the 50 freestyle. Another returning swimmer, Eric Schimmel, was right behind in third.

Jon Bovee followed with an easy win in the 1-meter dive and Brandon Dion, Brock Lange and Robin DeCastro came in 2-3-4 to give the Tigers the edge in the 100 butterfly.

Schimmel and Berg then returned to the pool for the 100 freestyle and provided a 1-2 finish. Austin Kueck followed with a five-second margin of victory in the 500 freestyle and Schimmel, Berg, Adam Dougherty and Jonathan Kingsbury teamed up to win the 200 freestyle relay.

“We lost our top gun (from last year) in (Chris) Kirchmann, but we still have Berg, Schimmel and Garret Haugen going faster than our top seniors from last year,” Hamen said. “In the 100 back, Ben Gunderson is almost breaking the minute mark and Garrett Haugen and David Bovee are close behind him and in our breaststroke we didn’t lose any swimmers.”

The Tigers clinched the meet with 2-3 finishes from Gunderson and Kueck in the 100 backstroke and Nick Stephan and Spencer Kabran in the 100 breaststroke. Earlier in the meet, Lange and Ian Alexander chipped in a 2-3 showing in the 200 freestyle and the Tigers’ foursome of Gunderson, DeCastro, Dion and Garrett Haugen placed second in the 200 medley relay.

Farmington also won the JV portion of the meet, 106-41.

The Tigers compete again this weekend at the Eagle Invitational at the Valley Middle School pool.