By Bruce Karnick [email protected] The year was 1992. Tom Malchow was a freshman at Saint Thomas Academy (STA). Does that name sound familiar? Malchow was a state champion in the 200-free, …
By Bruce Karnick
The year was 1992. Tom Malchow was a freshman at Saint Thomas Academy (STA). Does that name sound familiar? Malchow was a state champion in the 200-free, 500-free, and 100-butterfly as a high school swimmer. During that time, he set seven school records, seven conference records and two state records. Malchow went on to swim at the University of Michigan and eventually in three different Olympics. 1996, 2000 and 2004, winning gold in the 200-butterfly in the 2000 games in Sydney.
1992 is the start of an incredible run for St. Thomas, a run that saw them win every dual meet they participated in the conference for nearly three decades. St. Thomas Academy, 15-time single A state champions, had been undefeated in the conference for 29 years, and completely undefeated in the state for the last six years, over 40 meets, until they came to Hastings on January 28th.
“I personally have not beaten them in my 32year coaching career,” said Raiders Head Coach Gerry Rupp.
Rupp was quick to point out two key aspects of the night.
“They lost 12 seniors from last year’s team, essentially their entire varsity line-up and then some. Diving was a breaking point for STA. They did not field any divers, allowing us to score 13 uncontested points.”
The total team effort did not start out as smoothly as Rupp had hoped.
“We took a couple of gambles in the lineup, hoping they would pay off, the Medley did not, due to the STA swimmer dropping three seconds from his previous weeks best. A surprise defeat in the 200 [freestyle] as well and things were starting to look shaky.”
Freshman Caleb Urban was clutch in the 200-individual medley, winning by nearly two seconds in come from behind fashion, being down by a full body length at the halfway point of the race.
See Swimming Page 10
Sophomore Adam Duer wins the 100 Butterfly with a time of 56.54, beating his personal best by four seconds and the nearest competitor by three seconds. Photo by Bruce Karnick. Swimming
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Junior Philip Jensen edged out STA’s speed demon in the 50 freestyle.
After diving, Sophomore Adam Duer cut four seconds off his best time this year in the 100-butterfly earning a commanding victory at 56.54 and Junior John Destross picked up third with a 1:00.47.
Joe Everson avenged his earlier defeat by winning the 100-freestyle with a time of 51.00. Freshman Taylor Schmaltz came in third with 56.34.
Urban once again overcame a body and a half length deficit partway through the 500 to log his lifetime best swim of 5:01.80.
Next up, “The 200-freestyle relay, were my four best horses against his. Ours were better,” Rupp said.
That relay consisted of Jensen, Everson, Destross and Urban. They won the 200 by over 2 seconds.
The weak spot in the Raiders lineup is the breaststroke and that ended up being an 11-5 loss on the scoreboard.
At this point in the meet, it was down to the 400-freestyle relay. The same four horses from the 200 were in the 400. Had Hastings finished in second place, they would have won the meet by one point.
“Our four horsemen decided to end it with an exclamation point, highlighted by Jensen’s sub 50 second swim on the anchor leg,” Rupp beamed.
They did, in fact, not only win the 400, but they also won it in come from behind fashion. At the midway point of the relay, the swimmers were neck and neck. After the third swimmer, Hastings was behind by a hair and that’s when Jensen turned on the afterburners giving Hastings the 96-87 win.
“[It was a] very satisfying win for our guys, knowing they are the only team in three decades to pull off a victory against the 15-time single A State Champions,” Rupp said after the win.
News of the victory spread quick. At the girls’ basketball game, long time Hastings announcer Dick Cragg gave the results over the PA to the fans. Both Simley and Hastings folks cheered in unison for the victory.
Coach Rupp finished the email perfectly, “Next up, Simley on Thursday, which will most likely decide the conference title. They are very strong, but I think we match up well against them and the meet will most likely come down the last event. Hastings’ own cardiac kids will put it on the line once more!”
Good luck boys, win against Simley and the conference title could be yours!