The Farmington Tigers boys' swimming and diving team is off to a great start to the season and more recently, 2019. The Tigers beat Burnsville 94-59 in Burnsville on Friday, Jan. 4, and then competed in the Maroon and Gold Invite at the University of Minnesota the next day, where they won the Tiger division with 573 points. Then this past Tuesday, they traveled to Hastings where they defeated the Raiders 96-88. So far this winter, Farmington is undefeated in the South Suburban Conference and their only loss has come at Northfield.
Farmington won the first eight events against the Blaze before swimming the last four events as exhibitions. In five of those events, Tiger swimmers occupied the top three spots which resulted in the 35-point win.
Winning those eight events were: the 200-yard medley relay team of senior Seth Miller, junior Ethan Hanes, junior Maxwell Koch and freshman Brandon Wilcek with a time of 1 minute, 55.14 seconds; junior Seth Krause in the 200 freestyle in 1:48.79 and the one-meter dive with a score of 239.20, and senior Evan Thorn in the 200 individual medley (2:14.77) and 500 freestyle (5:24.36). Hanes took first in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.96, senior Ben Moorlach in the 100 butterfly in 1:00.43 and senior Eric Heddinger in the 100 freestyle (49.65).
Maroon and Gold
The Tigers won the (very appropriate) Tiger division at the Maroon and Gold Invite held at the University of Minnesota by over 100 points. They competed against Cretin-Derham Hall, Park of Cottage Grove, St. Paul Highland Park, Blaine, Chippewa Falls (Wis.), Centennial, Irondale, South St. Paul, St. Cloud Apollo, Tartan, Breck-Blake and Mound Westonka.
Farmington swimmers and divers took first in half the events and were runners-up in three more. The 200 medley relay team of Heddinger, Krause, Wilcek and Miller took first with a time of 1:42.39; Heddinger won the 200 individual medley in 2:05.20 and the 500 freestyle in 5:01.28, while Krause won the one-meter dive by almost 30 points with a score of 248.30 and the 100 backstroke in 55.09. Finally, the 400 freestyle relay team of Heddinger, Moorlach, Hanes and Krause placed first with a time of 3:17.74.
Runners-up were senior Zach Nelson in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:47.47 and the 100 butterfly in 53.32 and Moorlach in the 100 freestyle in 49.63. The 200 freestyle relay team of Nelson, Hanes, Miller and Moorlach were third with a time of 1:33.54 and Moorlach took third in the 100 breaststroke in 1:03.98. Thorn took fourth in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:56.41, Wilcek was fifth in the 200 individual medley in 2:12.69 and fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.06), while Hanes finished fourth in the 100 freestyle (51.23). Farmington' second 200 freestyle relay team of senior Noah Budde, junior Jack Bauerle, Thorn and Tristan Webster took fifth with a time of 1:36.76. The 400 freestyle relay team of Thorn, Budde, Nelson and Webster finished fifth in 3:36.18.
The Tigers then traveled to Hastings Middle School to take on the Hastings Raiders Tuesday night, Jan. 8, where they won 96-88. Farmington won nine events and would have won the 400 freestyle had they not swam it as an exhibition.
Perhaps the biggest highlight of the meet came in that 400 freestyle relay event where the team of Heddinger, Krause, Nelson and Moorlach came within a half-a-second from breaking the Hastings pool record with a time of 3:18.78. Head coach Ryan Hamen said that record is now in the team's sights when they return to Hastings later in the season.
Taking first in their events were Heddinger in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:50.56 and the 100 backstroke (56.46), Krause in the 200 individual medley in 2:00.53 and the one-meter dive with a score of 254.30, and Hanes in the 100 butterfly (57.20). Wilcek won the 100 freestyle with a time of 53.46, Nelson the 500 freestyle in 4:52.26, the 200 freestyle relay team of Heddinger, Wilcek, Hanes and Bauerle (1:35.42) and Moorlach in the 100 breaststroke in 1:08.38.
Taking second were Wilcek in the 50 freestyle with a time of 24.90 and Bauerle in the 100 freestyle in 54.82. The third-place finishers were the 200 medley relay team of Nelson, freshman Paul Radke, Koch and eighth-grader Thomas West with a time of 2:01.19; Hanes in the 200 individual medley in 2:11.85 and Webster in the 50 freestyle (24.99). Thorn was third in the 100 butterfly with a time of 59.70, the 200 freestyle relay team of Thorn, Webster, Nelson and seventh-grader Kennedy Gibbs in 1:41.18 and Moorlach in the 100 backstroke in 1:02.00.
Farmington travels to Lakeville South this evening, hosts Apple Valley on Tuesday, Jan. 15, and then goes to Rochester Saturday, Jan. 19, for their Section True Team meet.