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Grismer's hard work pays off with state berth

Ted Fiskevold/EOT Illustrated Gavin Grismer returns to the Class 1A state meet in the backstroke. He finished 21st last year in the state meet.1 / 2
Yellowjacket senior Gavin Grismer qualified for this weekend's state swimming meet in the 100-yard backstroke by taking fourth place in Saturday's Section 3A meet in Detroit Lakes.2 / 2

Ted Fiskevold

EOT Illustrated

Perham Senior Gavin Grismer started swimming in the Lakes Area Penguins at age four.

"I swam in LAPs until seventh grade when I started with the high school team," he said before his practice and coaching session last Monday night after school. "I've been swimming here as long as there has been a pool and a PACC."

This season, Grismer has served as a captain on the Yellowjackets swimming team and has logged in a lot of hours at the PACC pool.

"On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays we practice every morning from 6:15 to 7:30 a.m., then we practice after school every non-meet school least 12 hours a week of practice," he said.

All the practice has paid off for Grismer and this Thursday he will be swimming at the Minnesota State Boys Swimming Tournament at the Aquatics Center on the University of Minnesota--Minneapolis campus.

"This will be my third consecutive year that I have gone to state in swimming," Grismer humbly offered. "Last year I was 21st in backstroke."

Grismer qualified for the state tournament at the Section 3-1A Swimming Finals held in Detroit Lakes last weekend.

"To qualify for the state tournament you have to swim the 100 yard backstroke event in 59.02 or be in the top four," Grismer said. "In this case all four got that time or higher. On Friday in the preliminaries, I tied the school record which was 57.18, and on Saturday I qualified again and had a time of 57.43.

"My all-time personal best is now 57.18 and that is also the school record that was set by Steve Wrangham about 10 years ago. My older brother Casey holds a couple of high school swimming records."

The number one highest score in this tourney was just over 53, Gavin explained.

"My two scores put me at number four and number five did not qualify...pretty much what I want to do is get the [Perham] school record--get under 57 maybe a 56--and I'm hoping to get in the top eight and get a state medal," he added. "That would be great."

The Jacket swimmers are in the toughest Section in the State--3-1A, according to Yellowjacket swimming coach Sheri Ressler.

"Our boys did fantastic in sections and they competed very well."

Senior Matt Murphy, another captain on this years' swim squad, finished at number 11 in diving.

Yellowjacket results

Section 3-1A meet in Detroit Lakes, Friday-Saturday, Feb. 26-27.

Team results --  Fergus Falls 304, Melrose/Sauk Centre 267, Bemidji 256, Hutchinson 250.5, Willmar 233, Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield 187.5, Detroit Lakes 178, Montevideo 171, Thief River Falls 109, Perham 88, Rocori 87, Minnewaska 72, Park Rapids 67.

Perham event results (*state qualifier) -- 200 medley relay: 8. Perh A 1:49.82...200 freestyle: 12. Ben Collette 1:57.87; 33. Jayden Cullen 2:09.70; 36. Brady Erickson 2:15.15...200 IM: 32. Mark Murphy 2:35.10; 33. Randy Swanson 2:35.93...50 freestyle: 9. Gavin Grissmer 23.51; 25. Matt Shipman 25.12; 37. James Covington 26.53...Diving: 11. Murphy 229.35...100 butterfly: 9. Randy Swanson 1:00.35; 22. Zach Langendorfer 1:06.96...100 freestyle: 23. Collette 54.21; 31. Shipman 56.05...500 freestyle: 25. Cullen 5:52.33; 35. Nick Carignan 6:08.75; 37. Chad Hofland 6:10.22...200 freestyle relay: 11. Perh (Shipman, Covington, Collette, Murphy) 1:41.69...100 backstroke: *4. Grismer 57.43; 29. Hofland 1:12.57; 30. Luke Potts 1:13.39; 31. Paul Swanson 1:14.74...400 freestyle relay: 18. Langendorfer 1:12.07; 26. Murphy 1:14.92; 33. Covington 1:19.38.