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PHS Swimming: Hofland, 200 free relay swim in Class A 'B' Finals

Gavin Grismer takes off at the start of the 50m freestyle at the State Meet in Minneapolis.

50-Yard Freestyle

Gavin Grismer didn't advance past the first day of competition, as he finished tied for 19th place with a time of 23.24 in Friday's prelims of the 50 freestyle.

Grismer qualified with a school record time of 23.13, which was sixth place at the 3A Meet. The previous school record of 23.32 was set in 2000 by Drew Pawlowski.

Three medalists returned from the 2008 field: Tony Challeen of Simley of Inver Grove Heights (5th); Joey Clapp of Faribault (6th); and Jon Cesena of Sauk Rapids-Rice (7th). Tim Walker of Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield owns the fastest qualifying time of 21.51.

Walker had the fastest time in the prelims with a 21.54. Clapp (21.73) and Challeen (21.84) were the only other swimmers below 22 seconds.

In Saturday's finals, six swimmers dipped below 22 seconds, but none were faster than Walker, who took first with a 21.39. Challeen was a very close second at 21.40.

200-Yard Freestyle Relay

Perham's team of McMahon, Hofland, Grismer and Casey Rutten barely advanced out of the prelims, finishing 16th with a time of 1:34.18. They had a qualifying time of 1:32.86, which was good for fourth place at the 3A Meet last week.

In the 'B' Finals on Saturday, the Jackets improved their position to 13th overall, and their time to 1:33.58.

Seven teams that earned medals in 2008 returned to State this year, including the defending champions from Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield. The other medal-winning teams with entries were: Faribault, runner-up; Willmar, third; St. Thomas Academy, fourth; Sartell-St. Stephen, sixth; Mankato East/Loyola, seventh; and Grand Rapids, eighth.

Breck/Blake had the best qualifying time entering State (1:30.87), and the fastest prelim time (1:29.14). They continued that into the finals, taking first with a 1:27.40.

The team of Grismer, Hofland, McMahon and (2008 graduate) Casey Grismer finished 19th last year at State with a time of 1:34.14.

100-Yard Backstroke

Gavin Grismer was more than two seconds slower than his qualifying time, as he didn't advance past the prelims of the 100 backstroke Friday, finishing 20th with a time of 1:00.49.

Grismer's qualifying time was 58.63, which was fourth at sections. The school record of 57.18 is held by Steve Wrangham, set in 1999. Wrangham finished 12th at State that year. He finished 10th at State in the backstroke in 1998, the first year of the Yellowjacket swimming program.

Defending champion Ben Swanson of Sauk Rapids-Rice returned in search of more gold. Two other medal-winners from 2008 also returned: Owen Rickey of St. Thomas Academy, fifth; and Steve Kluver of Willmar, sixth.

The best qualifying time of 54.43 belonged to Cole Bateman of Hutchinson. It was another young eighth grader, Mitchell Foster of Blake/Breck, who had the fastest prelim time, 53.40. Bateman another eighth grader, was the only other swimmer below 55 seconds in the prelims (53.73), but it was Foster who prevailed in the finals with a time of 52.15. Bateman was second with a time of 53.71.

100-Yard Breaststroke

Luke Hofland barely advanced to the second day of competition in the breaststroke, as he finished 16th in the prelims with a time of 1:06.05. That was well over the State qualifying time of 1:04.95 that he swam at sections, where he finished fifth.

Hofland struggled on the second day as well, finishing 16th in the 'B' Finals with a time of 1:06.21.

Hofland finished 13th at State last year with a time of 1:05.43.

Drew Pawlowski has the school record of 1:01.99, set in 2001 when he finished 7th at State.

Mike Hurley of Fergus Falls and Michael Quinn of St. Thomas Academy were the only returning medal-winners in the breaststroke. They placed second and third, respectively, in 2008.

Paul Brunkhorst of St. Thomas Academy had the fastest qualifying time of 1:00.90 heading into State, but Hurley was able to swim the fastest prelim time (1:00.01), more than a second faster than Brunkhorst's time (1:01.80).

Once again, Hurley cruised to a win in the finals with a time of 57.49, well ahead of Detroit Lakes Quillan Oak, who was second (1:01.28).

Past State Participants

In addition to the above mentioned list, Andrew Stolle placed 15th at State in diving in 2000. Phillip Nelson finished 14th at State in the backstroke in 2005.

In 2008, the 200 medley relay team of Casey Grismer, Gavin Grismer, Luke Hofland and Ethan McMahon participated at State, but were disqualified.

After finishing 21st in the 100 free and 12th in the 200 free in 2007, Casey Grismer was 17th in the 200 free in 2008.