The St. Anthony Huskies swim team capped an extremely successful season at the Section 4A Swim Meet on March 13 by capturing 6 of the 12 events. Combined with a regular season where they posted a 7-1 dual meet record, the success is remarkable for a program just three years after emerging from a 30-year hibernation.
The team is a cooperative effort with Tri-Metro rivals St. Anthony, DeLaSalle and St. Agnes, though the cohesion and spirit of the team shows no evidence of those rivalries. Led by swimmers Liam Neary and James McCarthy and diver Andy Groebner, the team went toe-to-toe at the section meet with perennial powerhouse St. Thomas Academy, matching the Cadets’ six gold medals. The championships are the first for the Huskies since the early ’80s, when the program was discontinued.
Neary, a junior, won three events, finishing first in the medley relay, swimming with freshman Koichiro Nozawa, sophomore James McCarthy, and senior Noah Herlofsky, in 1:44.65. Neary also won the 50-yard freestyle in 21.62 and the 100 free in 47.78, qualifying for the state meet for the second straight year in all three events.
Neary also set two school records this season: the 200 free in 1:50.10, and with McCarthy and sophomores Sam Benson and Dominic Adkins, the 200 freestyle relay in 1:35.35. He now owns four team records, having earned the medley relay and 50 free records last season.
McCarthy also won three titles at the section meet, adding to the medley relay the 200 IM in 1:58.49 and the 100 butterfly in 53.66, both of which were also team records. Like Neary, McCarthy now owns four records, including the medley relay and 500 free records from last season.
Senior Groebner claimed the diving crown with a 386.70-point performance. He now owns the team record in both the 6-dive and 11-dive formats. This year he also posted the first 8.0 dive of his career. Groebner is headed to University of Wisconsin-Green Bay next fall on a diving scholarship. Groebner’s success has been a catalyst to growth in the diving program. He said, “I was the only diver in the program for three years. Now to be one of five, and to be able to lead these younger guys has been a great experience.”
In addition to the six champions, the Huskies qualified both freestyle relay teams for the state meet. Nozawa, Adkins, Benson, and sophomore Grant Ravndal finished third in the 200, while Neary, McCarthy, Benson, and Ravndal finished second in the 400.
Below: Andy Groebner set new diving records for St. Anthony. (Submitted photo)