Boys’ swimming starts season with win

Swimmers achieve personal best times despite late start to season


Lauren Thon

Senior Connor Coleman practices his breast stroke Jan. 13. Park beat Bloomington Kennedy 74 to 19 in its Jan. 14 meet.

Kate Schneider

After only a short time to prepare, sophomore Miles Nordling said the meet against Bloomington Kennedy gave the swimmers a chance to show their improvement since last season.

“It went very well, especially because we’ve only been in the water for a week and a half and we were already seeing some best times, which is really impressive and good to see at the start of the season,” Nordling said.

According to head coach Amanda Forsberg, the team has had a slower start to the season because pools were closed due to COVID-19 and no one could practice before the competition season started.

“No one came into the season in swimming shape. Normally, I have a lot of club swimmers so we can hit the ground running and we can start right where they left off. But now we have to start off slower and build them back up,” Forsberg said.

Nordling said the meet was an important one to win, since it sets them on the right path to go undefeated this season.

“It feels good anytime we win, but it’s a good kickoff because we’re hoping to go undefeated again like last year, so that’s the best start we could ask for,” Nordling said.

According to Forsberg, almost everyone on the team started off the season with personal bests, especially swimmers who are new to the team this year.

“Hayden (Zheng) broke his own pool record in the 100 fly. We have three new swimmers, one of them is Henry Salita who had his lifetime best in the 100 back and the 50 free, so his first meet for us was phenomenal,” Forsberg said. “Honestly a lot of the swimmers had times that they left with last year, so it seems like all that recovery helped them out.”

Nordling said everyone had a good attitude at the meet and the support they showed for their teammates gave their performance a boost.

“We did a good job of staying involved in the meet even when it’s more difficult because we can’t really be on deck. The boys showed some good support from the stands, which was really nice to see and impressive,” Nordling said.

According to senior captain Ben St. Clair, the team’s dynamic is different than in past years because of its smaller size and as a captain this year, he wants to make sure the team is welcoming to new swimmers.

“Since we have a smaller team this year, the community and the friendships we have are tighter. I think that’s a strength we have over previous years. I’m looking forward to having more meets and getting to know all the younger kids that just joined the team,” St. Clair said.

Forsberg said she hopes the team stays undefeated the rest of the season and its hard work will pay off when it competes against tougher opponents. 

“My goal is for us to be undefeated in the conference. Then we will swim against Wayzata and Chaska-Chan which are two of the top teams in the state, so I want to get ready for them and have good competition against them,” Forsberg said.

Boys’ swimming’s next meet will be at 6 p.m. Jan 21 at Plymouth Middle School against Robbinsdale Cooper.