The Hutchinson boys swimming team will compete in nine events at the Class A State Boys Swimming and Diving finals Saturday.
The Tigersharks competed in prelims Thursday for diving and Friday for swimming and had three qualify for championship heats Saturday and six others qualify for consolation.
Among those in consolation heats are four ninth-place finishers, many of which fell short of a top-eight finish and a chance at a state medal. Despite that, Hutchinson head coach Rory Fairbanks was pleased.
“There's nothing I can complain about,” he said. “We would have liked to see those ninth-place (finishes) be top eight, but nothing you can do about. Can't control the other teams.”
The 200 medley relay team of Conner Hogan, Noah Tague, Tristin Nelsen and Devon Bode had the best finish of the prelims, taking sixth place. They just got into the top eight by less than a second.
Other top-eight finishes included Matthew Olberg in the 500 freestyle and Conner Hogan in the backstroke. Those two will swim for medals Saturday along with the 200 medley relay team.
In their other races, Olberg took ninth place in the 200 freestyle and Hogan took ninth in the 100 freestyle and will swim in consolation heats.
The toughest races went to Tague. He came in 15th in the breaststroke and took ninth in the 200 individual medley and missed a chance to medal by 0.32 seconds. That's part of the sport, but Tague knows that there will be more opportunities to improve.
“I'm still young," he said. "I still got two more years, so I'll get over it fast.”
Hutch's other two relay teams also qualified for consolation heats. The 200 freestyle relay team tied for ninth place and the 400 freestyle relay team took 13th place.
Missing out on qualifying for the final day of state was Bode in the 50 freestyle, who took 18th place, and Nelsen in the 100 butterfly, who took 19th place.
Diver Alex Oestreich also missed out on the final day as he took 21st place in the prelims Thursday.
For tomorrow, the goal is to have fun, continuing dropping times and improve as much as possible.
“I'm really excited for all of our relays,” Tague said. “Last year, they were nowhere near this. So, that's really good. It shows really good improvement from our team.”
Class A Boys Swim and Dive Championship prelims (Feb. 28)
200 medley relay: 1. Breck/Blake (Charlie Crosby, Byron Jia, James Pan, Mitchell Brown) 1:33.90, 6. Hutch (Conner Hogan, Noah Tague, Tristin Nelsen, Devon Bode) 1:40.79
200 freestyle: 1. Jack Herczeg (W) 1:40.12, 9. Matthew Olberg 1:45.96
200 IM: 1. Andrew Karpenko (MA) 1:48.36, 9. Tague 2:01.68
50 freestyle: 1. Crosby (B) 20.31, 18. Bode 23.08
Diving: 21. Alex Oestreich
100 butterfly: 1. Grant Wolner (W) 50.02, 19. Nelsen 56.28
100 freestyle: 1. Herczeg (W) 44.62, 9. Hogan 48.78
500 freestyle: 1. Niels Wu (B) 4:44.24, 8. Olberg 4:53.65
200 freestyle relay: 1. Winona (Herczeg, Alex Jorgenson, Wolner, Tanner Lozenski) 1:25.64, t9. Hutch (Hogan, Nelsen, Dane Thovson, Olberg) 1:30.39
100 backstroke: 1. Crosby (B) 47.65, 7. Hogan 53.85
100 breaststroke: 1. Karpenko (MA) 54.26, 15. Tague 1:02.18
400 freestyle relay: 1. Winona (Jorgenson, Lozenski, Wolner, Herczeg) 3:09.05, 13. Hutch (Olberg, Thovson, Bode, Tague) 3:23.41