Area swimmers show well in 5AA finals

The Section 5AA boys swimming and diving finals were contested Feb. 23 in Minnetonka.

Wayzata was the team champion, while area schools Osseo, Cooper and Armstrong placed second, fifth and seventh respectively.

Osseo ended up sending a trio of individuals to this week’s Class AA state meet, as well as two of its three relays.

Junior Nolan Vander Ploeg qualified in two events. He was the runner-up in the 50-yard freestyle in 22.27 seconds, and also placed fourth in the 500 freestyle in 4 minutes, 49.38 seconds, which was five seconds in front of the automatic qualifying standard.

Senior Josh Nelson also made it in two events. He was second in the 100-freestyle in 48.29 seconds, and fourth in the 100 backstroke in 54.90 seconds. The automatic qualifying time in the backstroke was 55.54 seconds.

Junior Tim Van Laarhoven was the Section 5AA champion in the 100 breaststroke in 1:01.87.

Van Laarhoven, Vander Ploeg and Nelson were each apart of the two relays that qualified for state.

Jacob Rear joined the trio helping swim the 200 medley team to a section winning time of 1:39.33, and Dylan Croonquist was the fourth swimmer on the 400 freestyle relay team that advanced after placing second.

Robbinsdale Cooper’s strong showing was also placed by the performance of its relay teams.

The 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay groups both placed fourth, while the 400 freestyle relay team ended up fifth.

Individually, senior Jake Helgerson placed third in the 50 freestyle in 22.35 seconds, which was .07 seconds shy of the automatic qualifying time.

Helgerson was also fifth in the 100 freestyle.

Sophomore Jake Noble was seventh in the 100 backstroke, and senior Ian Wessel was seventh in the 100 breaststroke.

Armstrong got a seventh place finish from both its 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay teams.

The Falcons were led individually by ninth-grader Harrison Collins, who was sixth in both the 100 backstroke and 50 freestyle.

Senior Kris Acuna turned in a sixth place finish in the 100 breaststroke for Armstrong.

The Class AA state swimming and diving meet will be held Feb. 28 to March 2 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. Events begin at 6 p.m. each day.

Contact Nick Clark at [email protected]