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Swimming and Diving: Cards land in third place in home True Team meet

Junior Jaymeson Wolkow swims in the second heat of the 200 yard IM at the Section 5, Class A True Team meet. The Cardinals placed third overall. (Emily Myrin / Echo Press)1 / 6
Seventh grader Logan Tung competes in the third heat of the 200 yard IM during the True Team event in Alexandria. The Cardinals took third place out of nine teams. (Emily Myrin / Echo Press)2 / 6
Eighth grader Carter Holm swims in the third heat of the 500 yard freestyle event at the Section 5, Class A True Team event hosted by Alexandria. (Emily Myrin / Echo Press)3 / 6
Senior Jordon Baas (left) congratulates a Detroit Lakes swimmer between heats in the 50 yard freestyle. Baas took second place in the event. (Emily Myrin / Echo Press)4 / 6
Seniors Nic Chromey (left) and Zach Dummer dive into the water for the 200 yard IM at the Section 5, Class A True Team meet. Chromey took second and Dummer took fourth in the event. (Emily Myrin / Echo Press)5 / 6
Junior Nick Olson pulls ahead in the 200 yard freestyle on Jan. 20 at the Section 5, Class A True Team meet. Olson took second place in the event. (Emily Myrin / Echo Press)6 / 6

There were two heats left in the final event of the night where nine teams were gathered for the Section 5, Class A True Team boys swim meet in Alexandria on Saturday. The swimmers readied themselves for the buzzer but were asked to step down because a mistake had been made. Multiple heat sheets were confusing the varying teams.

“They had the ball rolling and then all of a sudden there was a shuffling of lanes and kids weren’t sure what lane they were supposed to be in,” Alexandria head coach Kathy Walker said. “I think it took their focus.”

After a 20 minute pause while judges and coaches deliberated, the swimmers got back in their lanes and the Alexandria A relay team of senior Jordon Baas, junior Nick Olson, eighth grader Nicolas Welle and junior Patrick Chromey came in second place behind Sartell St. Stephen.

The B relay team of eighth grader Carter Holm, senior Adam Zimmerman, eighth grader Anthony Hoyt and senior Zach Dummer took 11th place.

“That lost us our second place,” Baas said. “It’s all mental. It’s harder to swim mentally than it is physically. ”

Though not everyone was upset by the glitch in the meet.

“It threw us off a little bit but I kind of liked the rest myself,” Olson said with a smile.  

The Cardinals came in third place with 1,470 points. Melrose-Sauk Centre came in second with 1,488 points and Sartell-St. Stephen took first with 1,746 points.

“I think they’re a bit disappointed with third, but it’s a whole team scoring so we put seventh and eighth graders in who have never been in a meet like this before because that’s the future of this program,” Walker said.  

A True Team meet is unique from a regular swim meet in that every single swimmer on a team swims in the same meet and every swimmer scores points.

“It pushes everybody to do their best,” Baas said. “It pushes everybody to make those relays because it's the relays where you have more points. It pushes everybody to work harder and be more motivated, more disciplined.”

The Cardinals had several season bests and personal bests earned in the pool.

The 200 yard freestyle team of Baas, Welle, P. Chromey and senior Nic Chromey came in first place and set a meet record of 1:31.60. Chromey broke the meet record with his 58.6 finish in the 100 yard breaststroke and came in first in that event.

“We’re faster than we were last year at the end of the season so the process is working,” Walker said.

The process for the Cardinals includes a new weight program, a team culture of mentorship between the older swimmers and younger recruits and zero time off. The team has been hitting it hard, not taking any rest time before meets, including the big True Team meet.

“I trashed them this week,” Walker said. “Nic Chromey came over to me and said ‘I’m happy with my swims considering I couldn’t get my arms out of the water on Thursday.’ They were crushed this week and I said in the next month, it’s going to be the same. You’re going to get crushed before we rest for sections.”

The True Team meet also gave the Cardinals an opportunity to plan and strategize for the section meet they’ll be hosting on Feb. 23. By seeing where other teams are placing their swimmers, the Cardinals can reorganize their lineups to optimize their scoring opportunities, Walker said.

The Cardinals collected a smattering of second place finishes, often falling behind Sartell. The 200 yard medley team of Dummer, N. Chromey, Olson and Baas took second. Olson grabbed second place in the 200 yard freestyle. N. Chromey took second in the 200 yard IM. Baas took second in the 50 yard freestyle. Chromey landed in second place behind a Sartell-St. Stephen swimmer in the 100 yard freestyle.

Freshman Devan Swerman took 11th place in the diving competition with 233.90 points. Hoyt took third in the 500 yard freestyle with a time of 5:22.14.

“It’s not the person who gets first that’s the big deal,” Olson said. “Every place you can get for your teammates counts. It’s really special to see people move up places from where their seeded. Everybody scored. Everybody counted. It was a really great team bonding experience.”

The Cardinals host Sauk Rapids-Rice on Jan. 25 at 6 p.m.

SECTION 5, CLASS A FINAL RESULTS - Sartell - 1st, 1,746; Melrose-Sauk Centre - 2nd, 1,488;  Alexandria - 3rd, 1,470; Fergus Falls - 4th, 1,122; Park Rapids - 5th, 1,054; Bemidji - 6th, 997; Detroit Lakes - 7th, 848; Thief River Falls - 8th, 487; Morris Area TOP EIGHT FINISHERS FROM ALEXANDRIA 200 yard medley relay - Zach Dummer, Nic Chromey, Nick Olson, Jordon Baas - 2nd, 1:43.96; Jaymeson Wolkow, Logan Tung, Geoffrey King, Garrett Maras - 8th, 1:53.45200 yard freestyle - Nick Olson - 2nd, 1:54.89; Anthony Hoyt - 8th, 2:01.00200 yard IM - Nic Chromey - 2nd, 2:02.21; Zach Dummer - 4th, 2:13.4050 yard freestyle - Jordon Baas - 2nd, 23.39; Patrick Chromey - 3rd, 23. 41100 yard butterfly - Nick Olson - 5th, 1:01.29100 yard freestyle - Patrick Chromey - 2nd, 50.97; Nicolas Welle - 5th, 52.02500 yard freestyle - Anthony Hoyt - 3rd, 5:22.14200 yard freestyle relay - Jordon Baas, Nicolas Welle, Patrick Chromey, Nic Chromey - 1st, 1:31.60100 yard backstroke - Zach Dummer - 4th, 1:00.09100 yard  breaststroke - Nic Chromey - 1st, 58.60; Nicolas Welle - 4th, 1:07.13400 yard freestyle relay - Jordon Baas, Nick Olson, Nicolas Welle, Patrick Chromey - 2nd, 3:28.40