By DAVID MARQUIS
FOR THE PIONEER
The Orono boys swim and dive team competed in the Class-A State Meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center on March 3 and 4, and came away with an impressive third-place finish, which is the top place in Orono High School’s history and the best ever for Coach Buecher in over 30 years of coaching.
Thirty-three Class-A teams from around the state competed in 12 events.
The Orono squad started out strong in the first race, the 200-yard medley relay. As they have all season, the team of senior captains Will Brenton and Andy Kileen, Junior Peter Sherek and Senior Sig Muller put everything they had into the water and were rewarded with a first-place finish of 1.33.95. Not only was that a team record, but a state meet record as well, along with an All-American Consideration Time. There was abundant celebration and tears of joy for the relay team. They have competed together for eight-plus years and this would be their last race together. Going out on top was their goal from the beginning of the season and their hard work and determination made it happen.
Will Brenton continued his domination of the 100-yard backstroke with a first-place finish and All-American Consideration Time of 50.09, a great end to an undefeated season in the event. Orono sent eight of their nine athletes that qualified for state to the final day of competition, the final championship meet. As a team, they mustered 193 points, competing in all but two events. The team finished solidly in third place, behind perennial powerhouses of Breck/Blake and St. Thomas Academy.
Results for Orono:
• 200-yd. medley relay – 1st (1.33.95) Team of: Brenton, Sherek, Muller, Kileen (Team/State Meet Record/All American Consideration Time)
• 200-yd. freestyle – 8th (1.45.61) Kileen
• 50-yd. freestyle – 16th (22.27) Junior Harrison Graham
• 1-mtr. diving – 15th with a score of 298.60, Senior Caption Alex Schrock
• 100-yd. freestyle – 5th (47.45) Brenton
• 500-yd. freestyle – 3rd (4.41.32) Kileen
• 200-yd. freestyle relay – 3rd (1.27.12) Junior Brendon Prentice, Graham, sophmore Peter Kasner, Sherek
• 100-yd. backstroke – 1st (50.09) Brenton (All American Consideration Time)
• 100-yd. breaststroke – 5th (59.38) Sherek and 8th (100.95) Prentice
• 400-yd. freestyle relay – 3rd (3.10.89) Brenton, Sherek, Kasner, Kileen
Coach Buecher was quite happy at the end of the meet. His demeanor was noted from the swimmers and parents alike, seeing such a contrast to his normal stoic nature.
“It’s been an amazing season. I am really proud of this squad and especially the seniors for their tremendous contributions. It isn’t very often that you get so many good swimmers across the different events within the same grade. They got the team here and it’s fitting that they leave knowing that they helped obtain Orono’s best state meet finish in the school’s history. I thought that all the guys we brought to this meet pushed themselves to deliver their best. Even the alternates practiced hard and cheered and encouraged those competing. We set a goal for this meet to get some hardware for the trophy case. We did just that,” Coach Buecher said.