Swimmers break out at True Team Sections

FL sets best times in 27 entries, places second

The Rangers celebrate their second-place finish at Saturday's True Team Section meet. (Photo by Jeff Moris)

Clint Riese
Sports Editor

Coach Barbara Vailodash summed it up nicely after Forest Lake’s runner-up finish at the True Team Section meet in Coon Rapids on Saturday.

“The boys swam outside of themselves,” the ninth-year Ranger coach said.

Forest Lake set personal best times in 27 out of 36 entries over the nine individual events. That stunning 75-percent rate for records helped the team score 2084.5 points and put a scare into the champions from Anoka.

“They just keep getting faster,” Vailodash said. “It’s just really fun and exciting to see. On Saturday, everyone was really impressed with how great they did – not only the families and coaching staff, but other teams, too.”

The cuts in time resembled a post-season sectional which teams taper down their practice loads to peak for. However, Vailodash said the team did not adjust anything for Saturday.

“We weren’t targeting it at all,” she said. “They swam right through it.”

The team’s lone first-place finish came from senior Erik Klein, who won the 100 backstroke in 58.79.

Junior Joe Goossens took second with a personal-best time of 51.54 in the 100 free.

The Rangers had a host of third-place finishes, and all were personal bests: Junior Joel Stomberg in the 200 free (1:56.42) and the 500 free (5:23.77), Goossens in the 50 free (23.57) and sophomore Stefan Albright in the 100 fly (59.08).

Each relay team posted a season-low time, as well. The 200 free team of Goossens, Stomberg, sophomore Bryan Fleming and senior Nate Merrier took third in 1:35.39. Also third was the 400 free team of Klein, Fleming, Stomberg and Goossens.

The 200 medley group of Merrier, ninth-grader Gunnar Ewert, sophomore Evan Woehl and ninth-grader Corey Bahr took fourth with a time of 1:50.56.

It marked Forest Lake’s fifth consecutive second-place finish at True Team Sections.

Earlier in the week, the Rangers lost to Stillwater and East Ridge. Both are among the top teams in the Suburban East Conference.

Albright (100 fly), Goossens (100 free), Klein (100 back) and the 200 free relay team of Merrier, Fleming, Stomberg and Goossens won events against the fifth-ranked Ponies in Tuesday’s 96-85 home loss. The host Raptors prevailed comfortably on Thursday.

Forest Lake hosts Park on Thursday.