After an extended three-week break over the holidays, the Hutchinson boys swimming and diving team rung in the New Year Thursday with a 94-79 victory over Montevideo at Jerry Carlson Pool.

The Tigersharks dominated Montevideo in the first eight events, winning them all and in some cases scoring the top three finishers in the event. The 'Sharks built such a strong lead, they exhibitioned the final four events. It was a strong meet for the team as it returns to competitive swimming.

“I feel that it went really well for the team,” freshman Dane Thovson said. “The other team was very good with sportsmanship, and I feel that everyone did well overall.”

The Sharks had the top three finishers in four of the eight individual events. Conner Hogan had an outstanding meet. He won the 200 IM and 500 freestyle individually and helped both the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams take first.

Alex Oestreich continued his good season on the board, posting another score of more than 200 points. Cameron Wagner is not far behind to join the 200 club as he scored 185.

Even in the events that the 'Sharks exhibitioned, they still had had strong times that would have taken first. A dominant meet, but with more work still to be done.

“There is definitely room to improve,” sophomore Devon Bode said. “I think we need to do better overall as a team, but we're getting there.”

During the break, head coach Rory Fairbanks said the Tigersharks practiced every day to stay in shape and prepare for the final stretch of the season. They have just two more dual meets left with Orono/Mound Westonka and Waconia, with the true team section tournament sandwiched in between. Now it's time for Hutch to show what it can do.

“Fairbanks has been pushing us hard in practices,” Bode said of the long break. “He's getting us caught up again. It's been tough, but we're doing good overall.”

Although Fairbanks would have liked one meet to keep the swimmers sharp, he didn't mind the long break either. He views the meets as practice any way for improving times leadings up to the final meets of the season, when it matters most.

These type of home duals also allow the team to experiment with combinations that they may not have tried earlier in the season.

“They gave us some looks at some guys in different events we moved around that they haven't swam yet this year,” Fairbanks said. “Maybe that opens up some possibilities later in the year.”

Areas in need of improvement are exposed during duals as well, especially coming out of a break when the team might be a little rusty. The 'Sharks are well aware of where their problems lie and how they need to improve.

Hutchinson had a meet Tuesday against Orono/Mound Westonka, then it hosts the true team section meet at 10 a.m. Saturday at Hutchinson Middle School.

“There's a lot of little things that we can do,” Thovson said, “on like flip turns and breathing off the wall, we need to work on in practice. It can be huge if we get that.”

Hutchinson 94, Montevideo 79 (Jan. 9)

Individual Results

200 medley relay: 1. Hutch A (Conner Hogan, Devon Bode, Tristin Nelsen, Dane Thovson) 1:47.42, 2. Hutch B (Anthony Witte, Charlie Jenum, Gabe Stassen, Alex Oestreich) 1:54.97

200 freestyle: 1. Matthew Olberg (H) 1:53.72, 2. Nelson 1:58.90, 3. Thovson 2:03.00

200 IM: 1. Hogan (H) 2:07.92, 2. Ethan Field 2:28.61, 3. Witte 2:29.85

50 freestyle: 1. Bode (H) 24.22, 2. Jenum 25.83, 4. Stassen 26.39

1 mtr diving: 1. Oestreich (H) 225.30, 2. Cameron Wagner 184.90

100 butterfly: 1. Stassen (H) 1:02.03, 2. Olberg 1:02.28, 3. Oestreich 1:03.83

100 freestyle: 1. Bode (H) 55.29, 3. Riley Yerks 57.76, 5. Wagner 1:00.76

500 freestyle: 1. Hogan (H) 5:09.23, 3. Thovson 5:38.53, 4. Carter Johnson 5:51.67

200 freestyle relay: 1. MTVD A (Ashton Christopher, Trew Evenson, Austin Dunn, Tyler Johnson) 1:42.97, Hutch A (Olberg, Nelsen, Bode, Thovson) 1:38.33, Hutch B (Jenum, Wagner, Stassen, Oestreich) 1:45.14

100 backstroke: 1. Christopher (M) 1:11.39, Nelsen 1:03.88, Yerks 1:06.20, Witte 1:09.61

100 breaststroke: 1. Owen Strunc (M) 1:15.44, Jenum 1:13.54, Field 1:20.98, Grant Kropp 1:25.05

400 freestyle relay: 1. MTVD A (Christopher, Evenson, Callim Schmitz, Chase Schmidt) 4:00.00, Hutch A (Olberg, Hogan, Witte, Field) 3:45.12, Hutch B (Yerks, Wagner, Johnson, Kropp) 4:10.55

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