It came down to the final leg of the final relay and a narrow Woodbury win to lift the Royals to a thrilling 91-89 win over host Park Tuesday, Jan. 23, in boys swimming.
Woodbury trailed 85-81 coming into the final event.
The Woodbury foursome of Hughdan Liu, Lukas Hruby, Jaron Kittelson and Timothy Rizzo edged Park’s quartet in the 400-yard freestyle relay, winning 3:27.42 to 3:28.50. In a meet where every point mattered, Woodbury’s two points for third in the 400 freestyle relay was another difference maker.
Held in the Cottage Grove Middle School pool, the entire meet was that close. Every touch, every turn and every point crucial.
“We went into the meet knowing it would very close,” Woodbury coach Marty Hoven said. “The meet went as we planned until the last few events when Park swam very well. Going into the final event, the 400 free relay, we needed to place first and third to win. All six swimmers in the two relays swam season-best times and were very focused on winning the meet for our team.”
Royals junior swimming star Rizzo had another big meet Tuesday. He won both the 200-yard individual medley in 2:05.36 and the 100-yard butterfly in 55.78 and swam strong anchor legs on Woodbury’s winning 200- and 400-freestyle relay teams.
“I think we had a slow start with our meet,” Park coach Amanda Johnson said. “The first half of our meets we were trying to get into the swing of things. Once the second half started we started to pick up the racing and did a fine job of getting into the races and getting the points we needed.”
Park’s foursome of Devin Schwartz, Dylan Purrington, Hogan Lawson and Nathan LeMay won the 200-yard medley relay in 1:47.82.
Sprinters Lawson and LeMay went 1-2 in the 50 freestyle, finishing in 31.04 and 32.26, respectively.
Lawson also won the 100-yard freestyle in 50.18.
Sam Rhode of the Wolfpack won the endurance event, finishing first in the 500 freestyle in 5:11.95.
Ninth-grader Devin Schwartz stroked to first in the 100-yard backstroke in 1:00.19.
Park’s Purrington took first in the breaststroke, winning in 1:06.80.
Hruby finished first in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:52.33.
Woodbury brothers Benjamin Earley and Liam Easley went 1-2 in the diving, with Benjamin winning with a total of 12810.
Woodbury swam to a win in the 200-yard freestyle relay with the team of Liu, Hruby, Kittelson and Rizzo finishing in 1:35.80.
The Royals also got big swims from Andrew Kania in the 100 butterfly (second in 1:02.32) and from Kittelson in the 50 freestyle (third in 24.20), Hoven said.