Despite smaller squad, Boys Swim works for another State bound season

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Courtesy of Lynn Metz

The boys swim team earned second place at Section 2A's last season. They want to rise to the top of the Section this year.

Another boys swim season arrives at Benilde-St. Margaret’s and people could not be happier about the upcoming season.  “Everyone I know is pumped for the season to start and we all are eager to get back in the pool as a team. We did very well last year, getting 2nd at Sections, and I think that success and energy is hopefully going to carry over into this season,” junior Tyler Metz said.

Although the swim team is few in numbers, it won’t stop them from hard work and their ultimate goal of making it to State this year for the ninth straight season.  “Tommy McGinn, Carson Knoer, Tyler Metz, and myself are all wanting to go to State this year,” junior Jack Boase said.  

They hope to accomplish this by having practice six days a week for two and a half hours each exclusively at the St. Louis Park Junior High this season, where the team’s home meets are also held.  “[We do] 6,000+ yards of swimming every day,” Boase said.

The team graduated six seniors last year who contributed to many relay teams and ultimately helped the team get second place at sections.  “This might impact our relays because we have a smaller team this year, with only 10-15 swimmers.  Since we are down on some talent, we are going to have to go into each meet willing to give all we have and fight to win each one,” Metz said.

However, the swim team is a lot more than just that.  Being the sole captain of the team this year, senior Peter McCague is trying to bring excitement and team bonding to the season too.  “It is a cool way to be part of a team, having pasta parties and a notoriously unique senior night,” McCague said.

The coaching staff, which consists of Damon Carrison and Jon Weidenbacher, brings to the table a lot of experience for the team, coaching the girl’s swim team in the fall and then taking on the boy’s team in the winter.  They combine McCague’s wishes of a fun environment with the seriousness necessary to compete and do well at the big meets.  “They are great coaches.  I think our coaches are a little more laid back than other coaches I’ve had, but they are also serious when it really matters at meets,” Metz said.

The biggest rivals for the upcoming season are the St. Louis Park Orioles and the combined team that comes from Breck and Blake.  The meets where these teams and others are invited, notably the South St. Paul Invite and True Team Sections in early January, are also known to be the team’s bigger meets that take place during the regular season.  “Our biggest meets are Sections and State, taking place in the end of February and first week of March,” Metz said.

McCague and Boase, as well as the whole team, encourages anyone and everyone to join the team no matter what your skill level may be, as they accept all people without cutting.  “We would love more people to join,” said Boase.

As for the team’s next meet, they partake in the unofficial Metro West Conference Relays before taking on Bloomington Jefferson at home in what should be a close meet on Thursday, December 17.