The Farmington Tigers boys' swimming and diving team beat the Lakeville North Panthers 98-85 on Feb. 2, as they begin to prepare for sections in earnest. Against the Panthers, head coach Ryan Hamen said that he liked how his team responded to facing some of the best competition they will see all year.
"The boys knew they had to step up on the relays as Lakeville North has Andrew Trepanier," he said. "He is one of the best swimmers in the state and can carry a number of relay teams to a victory."
The Tigers won seven events and were able rack up enough placement points to put together the comfortable victory. The 200 medley relay team of Seth Krause, Ben Walz, Ben Moorlach and Eric Heddinger took first with a time of one minute and 44.92 seconds and the team of Matt Gunderson, Riley Kennedy, Tanner Hubbard and Brett Haugen finished third in 1:50.28.
Heddinger finished first in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:53.93 and Evan Thorn was third in 1:57.45; Kennedy took third in the 200 individual medley (2:16.24); Ethan Hanes and Haugen finished in second (23.94) and third (24.37), respectively in the 50 freestyle; and Krause won the 1-meter dive with a score of 197.40.
Krause also won the 100 butterfly with a time of 57.08 while Thorn was third in 59.79; Moorlach took second in the 100 freestyle (50.90); Hubban finished runner-up in the 500 freestyle with a 5:14.73; also in second was the 200 freestyle relay team of Hanes, Walz, Haugen and Seth Miller (1:38.25); Heddinger won the 100 backstroke with a time of 57.12 and Gunderson was third (1:02.45).
Farmington finished one-two-three in the 100 breaststroke with Moorlach first (1:06.06), Brandon Wilcek was the runner-up (1:09.87) and Tristan Webster was third in 1:15.44; and the team of Krause, Moorlach, Heddinger and Hanes won the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:27.20, while the team of Hubbard, Gunderson, Thorn and Miller were third in 3:40.09.
Looking ahead to sections in a few weeks, Hamen said that qualifying and competing at state will be more difficult this year.
"Right now we are working at figuring out which events to send our top swimmers to sections," he said. "Eric Heddinger, Ben Moorlach and Seth Krause are multi-event athletes and can perform well in a number of events.The class 1AA section is a very strong section and we are concentrating on which events will help us the best to earn state cutoff times. We have some great swimmers but it is no longer working at just being the top two in sections, the only way to get in right now is a state cut-off time. We have one more dual meet versus Eagan next week and that will help us determine again what we want to do."
The meet against Eagan is Thursday, Feb. 8. Farmington's section 1AA opponents this year are Hastings, Lakeville North, Lakeville South, Owatonna, Rochester Century, Rochester John Marshall and Rochester Mayo.