Although it seems like winter sports just began, the beginning of the end is already upon us as Red Wing kicked off its postseason slate with its boys’ swimming and diving team competing in the Big Nine Conference Championship this past week. The diving portion was held Wednesday in Northfield, while the swimming events were conducted Friday in Rochester. After finishing at the bottom of the pack last year, the Wingers were back in the midfield as they took eighth place with 114 points — the most they’ve scored at this event in more than two years.
The Wingers finished in the top 15 in 10 different events, capped by a seventh-place finish by the 200 freestyle relay team of Ethan Ihrke, Jacob Flemke, Aidan O’Brien and Graham Achen with a time of one minute, 39.57 seconds. Red Wing had a pair of eighth- and ninth-place finishes and one 10th place result as well.
Taking eighth was the 200-yard medley relay team of Flemke, O’Brien, Ihrke and Achen (1:50.95) and Tyler Gorden in the 1-meter dive with 209.25 points. In ninth place were Achen in the 500 freestyle (5:30.58) and O’Brien in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.66). Rounding out the top-10 finishes was the 400 freestyle relay team of Patrick Hines, Soren Toegel, Andrew Hines and Colin Johnson (4:04.29), and Flemke in the 100 backstroke (1:00.88).
Of Red Wing’s remaining top-15 results, Ihrke took 12th in the 200 IM (2:22.94) and 15th in the 100 butterfly (1:02.07), O’Brien took 12th in the 100 freestyle (52.97), and Andrew Hines placed 15th in the 100 backstroke (1:03.79).
Next up for Red Wing is the Section 1A boys’ swimming and diving meet Wednesday and Thursday, March 10-11 in Rochester.