Raiders Swim and Dive remain unbeaten

Posted 9/22/21

By Bruce Karnick [email protected] The magic number in dual meets for high school swimming is 94. Once a team reaches 94 points, the opposing team cannot mathematically win. 94 points seems like …

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Raiders Swim and Dive remain unbeaten


By Bruce Karnick

[email protected]

The magic number in dual meets for high school swimming is 94. Once a team reaches 94 points, the opposing team cannot mathematically win. 94 points seems like a lot to score, but in all reality, its not. Scoring for swimming sounds confusing at first, but it is easy if you break it down. Only varsity events count for the score and there are two types of races: single swimmer and relays. There are a total of 12 events between three relays and nine single events.

Single events score the top five places with a max of three places going to one team. First place earns six points, second earns four, third earns three, fourth earns two and fifth earns one. A total of 16 points is given out for single events including diving. Taking first, second and third in a single event means you earn 13 points to the opponents three, but that is normally very difficult to do.

Relay events score the top three finishes with a max of two places going to one team. First place earns eight points, second four and third two for a total of 14 points from relays. Even though there are only three relays, relays give a team the biggest chance for huge point differences. Taking first and second in a relay can net a team 10 points, do that in all three relays and you have a thirty-point lead.

With that all out of the way, Hastings travelled to Two Rivers High School to the new District 197 Aquatic Center for their first time. The new aquatic center was home to the Henry Sibley Warriors for one year before the school changed its name to Two Rivers. The facility has three diving boards, two at the 1-meter height and a 3-meter high board. There are eight swimming lanes with an adjustable bulkhead that allows different configurations in the pool. During meets, there is a cooldown pool and a competition pool.

“It’s beautiful!” Head Coach Katie McAlpin said after taking a look around. “It’s too bad we don’t have something like this in Hastings.”

The Hastings pool is well over 50 years old, even though it was refurbished several years back, so a new, aquatic center type pool would be a huge improvement for the Raiders over their current facility.

Hastings started the meet with the team of Lauren Jenkins, Ashtyn Stewart, Ava McNamara and Clara Birken taking first in the 200 Medley Relay. The Medley starts with the backstroke, then the breaststroke, then the butterfly and finishes with the freestyle.

Stewart had a brief break for the JV heat and hopped back in the pool for first in the 200 freestyle. Sofia Kovalenko finished second and Lila Salzman fifth. Hastings was already building a solid lead with the score 19-11 after two events.

The third race, the 200 individual medley runs the same order as the medley relay. Kira Aarness took first, Josey Larson second and Ireland Zaruba fifth to extend the Raider lead 30-16.

For the 50 freestyle, Senior Kendal Jenkins edged out Two Rivers sprinter Charlotte Vogen for first, Birken came in fourth and Izzy Green fifth. Hastings lead was now 39-23.

This is where the swimmers get to take a bit of a break and the divers take over. The two Rivers dive team is where Hastings will be in a few years. The top two Warriors, Grace Marek scored 231.65 and Savannah Carr scored 179.75. Two weeks ago, during the season opener, Marek broke the Warriors school record with a 239.65. As a sophomore, she will be a force to recon with until 2024, but that’s ok. Hastings has all new divers, all seventh graders, and the group looks very promising. That means, when Marek graduates, all three of our divers will be ready to take over as the ones to beat for a few years. All three ladies, led by Chloe Aarness, scored well for their age. Aarness finished in third with 167.85, Greta Larson finished fifth with 148.20 and Mari Hall finished sixth with 119.15. With Two Rivers taking first, second and fourth, the Warriors cut into the Raider lead. Hastings was still on top, 43-35.

“I like to challenge the girls to get better overall, so I work all day on a lineup that not only gives us a great chance to win, but also helps our girls grow. That makes us a better team and helps me find out if a swimmer has a natural talent for a stroke they do not normally compete with,” explained McAlpin.

McAlpin’s lineup had the Raiders extend their lead with the 100 butterfly. Kira Aarness took first, Kendal Jenkins second and Berlyn Byrd fourth. Hastings 55, Two Rivers 39.

In the 100 freestyle, Lauren Jenkins took first, Josey Larson third and Birken fourth. The lead was then 66-44 with five events remaining.

The 500 freestyle, the distance swim, McNamara earned first, Kovalenko fourth and Zaruba fifth giving the Raiders a 24 point lead, 75-51.

In the 200 freestyle relay, the team of Lauren Jenkins, McNamara, Kovalenko and Kira Aarness, took first, and the Warriors grabbed second and third. With three events remaining, Hastings 83, Two Rivers 57.

For the 100 backstroke, Stewart grabbed first, Green took third and Salzman fifth. Hastings extended the lead 93-63, one point away from the magic number of 94.

Hastings scored their final point in the 100 breaststroke with Lauren Jenkins taking third and Byrd taking fourth. With Hastings having a score of 98, they locked up the victory and went into exhibition mode. Exhibition means the times count for records and seeding, but not for the score of the meet.

The final of the meet was Hastings 98, Two Rivers 86.

Hastings remains unbeaten on the season and will host Hill-Murray on Thursday at 6:00 at the middle school pool.