Rosemount Irish swimmers Grant Toenges (senior) and Cody Spaeth (junior) both qualified for the Minnesota State High School League's state boys' swimming and diving tournament this past weekend at their section meet. Toenges qualified in the 100 backstroke and butterfly while Spaeth is going in the 500 freestyle.
"Grant, going into this meet we knew he would perform very well, so he was looking to do the best he could," head coach Jake Kemna said. "Cody was kind of our outside shot. We'd been kind of saying all year, 'Grant's going to go, we'll have Grant go but it would be nice to sneak someone in.' And Cody swam the cut time in prelims, he dropped 18 seconds from his time in- season and had a great swim. Then we were like, 'Alright, he's got to do it in the finals if he wants to go.' And he ended up doing it."
Kemna said he was very pleased with how the Irish raced as team as well.
"(It) went about as good as it possibly could have gone," he said. "As a coaching staff we were really happy. We've had a young team all season long and Wednesday was really a fantastic meet for us all around."
Kemna said he saw improvement up and down his lineup.
"A lot of guys dropped a ton of time and really stepped up," he said. "Everyone dropped time, everyone moved up and swam really well. We were really happy with the performances and it's a real testament to the whole season that we put together."
Heading into the state meet, Kemna said sending swimmers to state is a special reward.
"Sections is always a fun meet since we have the whole section team there, it's a big team thing," he said. "State is kind of a cherry on top for us, especially with this guys team. We're only going with two guys, so it's tough to get that team feeling there, so we just go in and go compete with the best, you made it."
The state meet is held at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. Class AA swimming preliminaries start at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 2. The finals are the next day at the same time. Toenges will swim in the first heat for the 100 butterfly and the second heat for the 100 backstroke. Spaeth is in the first heat for the 500 freestyle.