This time Century over the top as Panthers claim Section 1AA swimming and diving team title
Century earns state berths in eight of the 12 events at the Section 1AA swimming and diving meet. Mayo senior Alonzo Montori earns state berths in two events.
ROCHESTER — After coming so close over the past three seasons, the Century boys swimming and diving team claimed a Section 1AA championship on Saturday.
The Panthers had been the meet runner-up two times in the past three years. But they were not to be denied this time as they topped Lakeville South 482-427 to win the seven-team event.
“Nine years in the making, it feels incredible,” Century senior Jensen Richard said. “Everyone has worked so hard to get here. Everyone did their best and swam hard.”
Mayo finished fourth in the team standings and John Marshall was seventh.
It was Century's first section team title since 2014 and the last section title by a Rochester team since Mayo won four straight from 2016-19.
“They guys deserve it, they worked so hard,” Century coach Linda Freeman said. Freeman was also excited to win the section meet during Century's first season of having its own pool.
It’s just been really gratifying with the new pool,” Freeman said. “We worked so hard to get that new pool, and it was done right.”
Century had two individual section champions and one relay winner in the event. The Panthers had state qualifiers in eight of the 12 events. The top two in each swimming event earned Class AA state berths along with anyone meeting a pre-set time standard. The top four divers also qualified for state.
Richard and senior Jack Homme both won an individual section title for the first time, and both in new events for Century.
Richard claimed his section title in the 100 backstroke, which he says “was my worst stroke last year.”
He didn’t even swim the backstroke as an individual event at the section meet a year ago. But he grew over the course of the past year, several inches to 6-foot-3, and developed a knack for the backstroke.
“It’s just incredible, it doesn’t feel real,” Richard said of winning the event.
And he did so in dominating fashion, winning the backstroke by just over two seconds.
Homme claimed his title in the 50 freestyle. He was also part of Century's winning 400 freestyle relay along with Andrew Linden, Gavin Potter and Owen Kelly.
“It was my first time winning an individual event at sections and the team (title), so that was really cool,” Homme said. “I’m very proud of the guys and how we’ve done this season.”
Homme said he felt really good in the water in both the preliminary round on Friday and in the championship finals. He ended up posting a personal best time of 21.32 in the 50 finale. Despite the mad-dash event the 50 is, Homme won by more than half a second.
“It feels great because I never really thought of myself as a sprinter,” he said. “So to be able to fill that position and really do well is great.”
Homme earned four start berths overall. He was second in his other individual event, the 100 butterfly, in which he also posted a personal best time. He was battling Noah Cochran of Lakeville South in both individual events.
"I touched him out in the 50 and he got me in the 100 fly so that was really cool," Homme said.
Homme teamed with Nathan Kram, Albert Hu and Kelly to finish second in the 200 freestyle relay. Kelly got a bit of justice by qualifying for state in two relays as the sophomore just missed in both his individual events, the 50 and 100 freestyle, by placing third in both.
Hu and Kram were also part of Century's 200 medley relay that place second and to earn a state berth. They were joined by Linden and Nathan Zhang.
Potter, a freshman, also earned two individual state berths. He was second in the 500 freestyle and advanced on time standard in the 200 freestyle, where he placed fourth.
Century's Silas Wagstaff placed fourth in diving to earn a state berth.
Mayo senior earns two state berths
Mayo senior Alonso Montori earned state berths in his two individual events as he was the runner-up in both the 100 and 200 freestyle.
“They were both pretty special for me because I was racing Gage (Boushee) from Lakeville South,” Montori said. “We’re good buddies, we’ve known each other for a few years so I was really looking forward to racing him.”
Boushee was able to come away with the victory each time.
“He got me at the end in both of them, but they were still pretty good races,” Montori said.
The two state berths were the first for Montori. He said the 200 freestyle was a little more special for him. He was able to drop even more time from the preliminary round and he set a personal best.
“I’m happy with second,” he said. “I’m making it to state, another chance to swim and another chance to swim fast so I can’t complain too much.”
He was Mayo's lone state qualifier.
John Marshall did not have anyone qualify for state. Andrew Ogren had the Rockets' top individual finish as he placed eighth in the 100 breaststroke.
The Class AA state meet will be held March 2-4 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
Section 1AA swimming/diving results
1. Century 482, 2. Lakeville South 427, 3. Lakeville North 334, 4. Mayo 318, 5. Owatonna 164, 6. Farmington 158.5, 7. John Marshall 99.5.
Individual results, winners, Rochester top 8
(* — state qualifiers, # — section record)
200 medley relay — 1. Lakeville South* 1:35.66#, 2. Century* (Andrew Linden, Nathan Zhang, Albert Hu, Nathan Kram) 1:38.32. 4. Mayo (Logan Atkinson, Eoin Porrata, Aiden Johnson, Alonzo Montori) 1:39.75, 5. John Marshall (John Njeru, Andrew Ogren, Paul Njeru, Andrew Sonnabend) 1:48.94.
200 freestyle — 1. Gage Boushee* (LS) 1:40.37, 2. Alonzo Montori* (Mayo) 1:41.78, 4. Gavin Potter* (Cen) 1:44.86, 8. Nicklaus Gustafson (Mayo) 1:54.12.
200 IM — 1. Ethan LaBounty* (LS) 1:55.21, 4. Jensen Richard (Cen) 1:59.37, 5. Grady Bargfrede (Cen) 1:59.47, 6. Ben Weingarten (Mayo) 2:00.60, 7. Eli Holmes (Cen) 2:01.84.
50 freestyle — 1. Jack Homme* (Cen) 21.32, 3. Owen Kelly (Cen) 22.06, 5. Nathan Kram (Cen) 22.37, 8. Albert Hu (Cen) 22.87.
Diving — 1. Porter Woodson* (LS) 421.95, 4. Silas Wagstaff* (Cent) 322.15, 7. Kael Berry (Cent) 241.95.
100 butterfly — 1. Noah Cochran* (LS), 2. Homme* (Cen) 51.26, 4. Hu (Cen) 53.37, 6. Aiden Johnson (Mayo) 54.30, 7. Payton Mitchell (Mayo) 55.12, 8. William Truskowski (Cen) 56.62.
100 freestyle — 1. Boushee* (LS) 46.18, 2. Montori* (Mayo) 47.38, 3. Kelly (Cen) 48.14.
500 freestyle — 1. Jonah Hoffman* (LN) 4:44.73, 2. Potter* (Cen) 4:51.36, 3. Weingarten (Mayo) 4:53.22, 5. Mitchell (Mayo) 5:07.37, 7. Grant Garrison (Cen) 5:18.42.
200 freestyle relay — 1. Lakeville South* 1:27.75, 2. Century* (Homme, Kram, Hu, Kelly) 1:28.26, 5. Mayo (Gustafson, Larson, Porrata, Simon Argue) 1:32.93, 7. John Marshall (P.Njeru, Ogren, J.Njeru, Sonnabend) 1:36.51.
100 backstroke — 1. Richard* (Cen) 51.80, 4. Linden (Cen) 55.57, 5. Atkinson (Mayo) 55.72, 7. Joe Vesterby (Cen) 57.27, 8. Johnson (Mayo) 1:00.26.
100 breaststroke — 1. Krance* (LN) 57.32, 3. Bargfrede (Cen) 1:00.49, 4. Zhang (Cen) 1:01.02, 5. Holmes (Cen) 1:02.41, 6. Kram (Cen) 1:02.41, 7. Porrata (Mayo) 1:04.26, 8. Ogren (JM) 1:05.25.
400 freestyle relay — 1. Century* (Homme, Linden, Potter, Kelly) 3:13.79, 4. Mayo (Weingarten, Atkinson, Argue, Montori) 3:17.27, 7. John Marshall (Noah Lemke, Alex Younk, Eli Norris, Maxwell Nguyen) 3:46.58.