Royals tankers take first at TartanThe Woodbury boys swimming and diving team is hitting the homestretch. With less than a month until the section 4AA tournament, coach Chad Cronin likes what he’s seeing out of his young team.
By: Hank Long, Woodbury Bulletin
The Woodbury boys swimming and diving team is hitting the homestretch.
With less than a month until the section 4AA tournament, coach Chad Cronin likes what he’s seeing out of his young team.
The Royals tankers were hoping to bounce back last Thursday after a 102-82 dual loss to Cretin-Derham Hall. They did just that in a 98-88 conference win over Forest Lake on Jan. 29 and a first-place finish at the Tartan meet Saturday.
Leading the way for Woodbury against Forest Lake were Matt Koken (won the 100 meter backstroke) and Jacon Matenaer (won the 200 meter freestyle).
Cronin said he’s been impressed how the team, led by its only senior Brandon Hadj Romdhane, has been improving over the last several weeks.
“I am really happy with the way the team has improved over this season,” Cronin said leading up to Woodbury’s Jan. 29 dual with Forest Lake. “I expect great things as we get down to our last four regular season meets. And we have done really well in big meets.”
Matenaer’s time in his 200 free (1:52.37) was just a shade faster than that of Hadj Romdhane (1:52.43), who has scored major points for his team in every meet this season.
Although Woodbury’s Jan. 20 loss to Cretin-Derham Hall came just a few days after the Royals second-place showing at the Jan. 17 True Team section meet in Stillwater, the Royals continued to put up strong performances throughout the month of January, a trend Cornin believes can continue into February.
Against Forest Lake Hadj Romdhane took first in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:48.33. Sophomore Jacob Matenaer won the 200 individual medley (2:10.17) and freshman Matt Koken blazed to a comfortable win in the 500 freestyle (5:03.35).
Freshman Vic Lugg had strong performances in the 50 and 100 freestyle and contributed to the Royals’ 400 free relay team’s victory over the Raiders.
“We have tons of underclassmen and one senior, but we are happy about that. This is a fun team,” Cronin said.
At the Saturday Tartan meet Hadj Romdhane, Koken and Greg Norsten all set meet records, which scored big points in the team’s first-place finish.
But win or lose, Cronin knows each meet brings new promise.
“I know we will continue to pursue excellence as we head in the postseason,” he said. “We are beginning to look like a team which is united for success in the post season meets.”
Coming up for the Royals tankers is a Thursday dual meet at Hastings (starts at 6 p.m.)
The team will then prepare for Section 4AA prelims which start Feb. 26