04 December 2013

Boys Swimming: 7 seniors back from big year

Nick Stephan one of 5 senior captains (file photo by Jim Lindquist)
Seven seniors head the list of 11 returnees from an outstanding 2012-13  boys swimming and diving season that included Missota Conference and Section 1AA True Team championships and a 26-point performance at the state meet.

Coach Ryan Hamen says he will miss the likes of MVP Christopher Kirchmann, Dahlton and Christian Bell, Cameron Molnar and Evan Carufel, but he is confident the strong cadre of returnees will make the 2013-14 another successful campaign.

The senior veterans include captains Eric Schimmel, Spencer Kabran, Nick Stephan, Sean Dougherty and Dan Berg and Brandon Dion and David Bovee; juniors Jonathan Bovee, Garrett Haugen and Robin DeCastro and freshman Austin Kueck

Schimmel won all-Missota Conference honors last season and Berg received all-league honorable mention.

Senior captain Sean Dougherty (photo by J. Lindquist)
Hamen said there are a couple of newcomers who might also crack the varsity lineup but with only a few practices under their belts it is far too early to tell.

"We have a number of very good swimmers," Hamen said. "We have great attitudes and personalities and that is going to make this a fun year....I am always  surprised as to who steps up and where we end up."

If there is a question mark it could lie in overall team depth.

"We have a lot of all-around good swimmers but we are going to have to work at having quality depth for each race.

"We have to get the confidence to try new things and experiment with our swimmers in different areas. It's going to take a lot of work to pick up where we left off last year."

Hamen said one of his team's goals is to win its third straight Section 1AA True Team title. He also isn't ruling out another run at a Missota Conference championship.

"Chaska/Chanhassen should be strong again," he said. "We'll have to look at them when we get there.

Rochester Mayo and Hastings figure to be contending teams in the Section 1AA race.

Phil Weix is Hamen's varsity assistant coach this season. John Tegg will work with the divers.

The Tigers get their first taste of competition Thursday at the second and final Missota Conference Relays in Northfield. Farmington won the inaugural event last winter.