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Irondale junior shines at state swim meet
Irondale High School junior Jacob Wielinski was his team’s lone entrant at last weekend’s state swimming and diving meet and he made the most of his time in the spotlight.
Wielinski advanced to the finals in both of his events and wound up climbing fairly high on the medals stand on Saturday evening at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
Wielinski took runner-up honors in the 500-yard freestyle by shaving nearly six seconds off his preliminary time. His finals time of 4:35.65 left him trailing only Lakeville South’s Mitch Herrera, who won the event by a shade over two seconds.
Wielinski was fourth after the preliminaries, where he completed the event in 4:41.59.
Wielinski also competed at state in the 200-yard individual medley and finished 10th overall. His time of 1:56.80 was good enough for second place in the consolation heat on Saturday. He moved up four spots from the 14th-place spot he occupied following the prelims. His prelim time was 1:58.90.
Irondale ended up 25th in the team standings with 24 points, all earned by Wielinski.
The Mustangs concluded their 2013-2014 season on Saturday at the state meet.
The highlight of the evening for the locals was an 11th-place finish by the 200-yard medley relay team. The all-senior unit of co-captains Ben Kaiser, Alec Martini and Sasha Safonov, along with Andrew Wang touched the wall in 1:39.15, which was just off their 1:38.89 time in preliminaries the night before.
In individual events, Wang swam to a 1:00.59 finish in the 100-yard breaststroke to claim 15th and cap off his senior season. In the 100-yard backstroke, Martini clocked a personal-best time of 54.21 seconds in his final swim to finish 16th. Safonov swam to a 48.94 to finish 16th in the 100-yard freestyle in his last performance as a Mustang.
Wayzata won the state championship with 237 points. The Mustangs’ Suburban East Conference rivals East Ridge and Hastings finished second with 194 points and fourth with 165 points, respectively. The Mustangs tallied 16 points to finish 27th.
The Mustangs concluded their season with a 5-4 dual meet record and fifth place finish in the Suburban East Conference.
In preliminary competition on Friday, three Mustang swimmers earned another swim in consolation finals. Martini advanced in the 100-yard backstroke with a 54.43 clocking to finish 15th. That swim moved him to fourth on the Mustangs’ all-time honor roll. Safonov also advanced with a 15th place finish in the 100-yard freestyle in 48.53. Wang had an excellent swim in the 100-yard breaststroke. His time of 1:00.29 was 12th-best and tied him for fourth on the team honor roll.
The Mustangs also qualified their 200-yard medley relay team for the consolation heat on Saturday. The quartet of Martini, Kaiser, Wang and Safonov swam to an 11th place finish in 1:38.89. The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Kaiser, junior Tanner Sachse, Safonov and Martini was 20th in 3:18.83.
In other individual competition, Martini posted a 53.77 in the 100-yard butterfly to finish 24th. Safonov was 27th in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:02.19.
Brian Meyers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.