Sartell entered the Class A Boys Swimming and Diving Meet with the top seed in one relay, third in the other, and broke school records in both — but still left the finals without a gold medal.
The Sabres took second in the 200 freestyle relay and third in the 200 medley relay and those finishes helped Sartell score 130 points as a team Saturday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
“We focus a lot on our times and we broke a couple very fast school records and we’re thrilled with that,” said Sartell coach Jason Anderson. “We had all best times today.”
Sartell took fifth place, its highest finish since it took third in 2000 and 2001. St. Thomas Academy won the state title with 263 points, 72.5 ahead of second-place Monticello.
Hellie swam on the back half of the 200 medley relay and the 200 freestyle relay teams that finished in third and second place, respectively, with times of 1:37.51 and 1:27.19.
The 200 medley relay entered the weekend with the top seed. But Breck/Blake made a move to put its best swimmers on one team, which beat Sartell by .07 seconds in the preliminaries and by 1.46 seconds in the championship race.
“We came in seeded first, but when you get to this meet, you can move kids around on relay teams,” Anderson said. “We knew there were going to be tough relays here. We weren’t kidding ourselves.”
Sartell dropped one spot from its preliminary finish in the medley relay Friday but shaved .99 seconds off its prelim time and broke a 17-year school record.
“We improved from yesterday and we probably could’ve swam faster, but we’re all very happy,” said Sartell senior Jack Hellie.
“We really wanted to break that record. To go that fast and still take third shows how fast swimmers are here.”
Hellie took eighth in the 100 butterfly (54.72) and Ian Lawson took seventh in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.43) for Sartell’s lone individuals to make the podium.
Barreto takes third, gets surprise
Felipe Barreto took third place in the 500 freestyle (4:50.23) for Melrose/Sauk Centre, and that may have not been the highlight of his weekend.
Barreto, a Brazilian foreign exchange student who attends Sauk Centre High School, heard cheering from a familiar voice Friday after he finished his warm-ups before the preliminary round. It was his dad, Alberto Deodato.
“I thought, ‘Am I just hearing things?'” said Barreto, who turned to see his parents and brother in the bleachers. He had no idea they were coming.
“I was almost crying. I hadn’t seen them in seven months.”
Barreto swam for club teams in Brazil and will return to his homeland in June.
Sauk Rapids’ Bethke takes eighth
Matthew Bethke, a sophomore from Sauk Rapids, scored a 232.9 in the diving competition to grab the last spot on the podium in his first state appearance.
“At the beginning of the season, I made it a goal to make it down here to state,” Bethke said. “As the season went on, I threw some harder dives and I made a bigger goal to make the podium and get all-state.
“I want to keep on improving in the next two years and take (the title).”
Darien Stegner took 14th for St. Cloud Apollo with a score of 289.7, for Apollo’s lone entrant in the meet.
Tech’s Allex fourth
St. Cloud Tech’s Reed Allex on taking fourth in the Class 2A 100 backstroke in a time of 51.87 seconds.
Minnetonka’s Noah Busch won the event in a time of 49.14 seconds.
“This means everything to me,” Allex said. “I’ve been working at this since seventh grade and I never dreamed it would happen.”
Team scores — 1. St. Thomas Academy 263; 2. Monticello 190.5; 3. Breck/Blake 177; 4. Faribault 131; 5. Sartell 130; 6. Fergus Falls 112; 7. Richfield 111.5; 8. Hutchinson 91; 9. Simley; 10. Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield 91; 20. Melrose/Sauk Centre 39; 32. Sauk Rapids 15; 38. St. Cloud Apollo 3.
Championship round: 200 medley relay – 3. Sartell (Drew Reitz, Ian Lawson, Jack Hjelle, Jack Nieters) 1:37.51; Diving – 8. Matthew Bethke (Sauk Rapids) 341.25, 14. Darien Stegner (St. Cloud Apollo) 289.7; 100 butterfly – 8. Hellie 54.72; 500 freestyle – 3. Felipe Barreto (Melrose/Sauk Centre) 4:50.23; 200 freestyle relay – 2. Sartell (Reitz, Ben Maurer, Nieters, Hellie) 1:27.19; 100 breaststroke – 7. Lawson 1:00.43.
Consolation round: 200 freestyle – 10. Barreto 1:46.76; 200 individual medley – 11. Lawson (Sartell) 2:03.04; 100 butterfly – 11. Conner Hollingsworth (Sartell) 55.46, 12. Zach Weiler (Sartell) 55.55; 500 freestyle – 14. Erik Skoe (Sartell) 5:06.26; 200 freestyle – 14. Melrose/Sauk Centre (Ethan Ross, Keenan Pearson, Matthew Beste, Brent Blommel) 1:31.67; 100 backstroke – 15. John Schwieters (Melrose/Sauk Centre) 58.05; 100 breaststroke – 13. Charlie Ramler (Sauk Rapids) 1:02.25; 400 freestyle relay – 13. Melrose/Sauk Centre (Schwieters, Ross, Blommel, Barreto) 3:22.34.
Team scores — 1. Eden Prairie 344; 2. Edins 237; 3. Minnetonka 177.5; 4. Hastings 133; 5. Lakeville South 130.5; 6. East Ridge 120.7; 7. Rosemount 113.8; 8. Mounds View 90; 9. St. Michael-Albertville 88; 10. Wayzata 79; 25. St. Cloud Tech 19.
Championship round — 100 backstroke — 4. Reed Allex (St. Cloud Tech) 51.87.
Consolation round: 200 freestyle relay — 15. St. Cloud Tech (Clayton Goenner, Jesse Lavoi, Ashton Schulte, Brady Goenner) 1:32.58.