Shipshape: Freestylers, divers lead way
Between the diving and freestyle events, expect the Jamestown High School boys swimming and diving team to score plenty of points.
“Our team looks really good,” Jamestown coach Ben Smith said. “They’ve been practicing really hard. We just kind of ran right into it.”
Thom, a senior, and Rasmussen, a junior, join senior Braydon Love as this year’s captains. If that’s not enough, a large senior class will certainly help with leadership.
“Some of them are good at encouraging others and some are good at leading by example,” Smith said. “Each one of these seniors has something good to contribute to our team. Not all of them are captains, but they’re all leaders on our team.”
Oslund is the highest returning placer on the team after taking fourth in the 100 free with a time of 49.83 seconds. Moving up could be a challenge, however, as only one of the three above him graduated. Oslund also placed eighth in the 50 free with a 23.26. Three graduated ahead of him in that event.
Rasmussen, a two-time all-state performer, placed fifth at state in the 200 free with a 1:50.26, though only state champion Dylan Sether of Bismarck Century graduated. Rasmussen also placed 10th in the 500 free. Only one in the top 10 graduated.
“Our state qualifiers that are returning, they look awesome in the pool,” Smith said. “It’s pretty exciting because everybody that placed at state last year we have coming back.”
Thom took sixth in the diving competition and has a serious chance to move up. Three of the five ahead of him are gone, with the two remaining being defending state champion Brady Coughlin of Fargo North and fourth-place finisher Adam Berglund of Century. Thom had a higher score than Berglund in the state semifinals, but the latter got the upper hand in the finals.
Add to that up-and-coming sophomore Cody Lutman, and the Blue Jays may have something special on the diving boards. Lutman took ninth, losing a spot in the finals by ten-hundredths of a point.
“They want to dominate the west,” Smith said. “They want to go 1-2, and it’s a strong possibility. The diving looks really good already.”
Jamestown finished third at the West Region meet last season, a huge accomplishment for one of the smaller programs in the state. Jamestown has 27 kids out this year, but 14 of them are out for the first time.
This year’s team wants to up the ante even more, Smith said, but that could be tough considering the depth of powerhouse programs like Minot and Bismarck Century.
“We have pretty high expectations,” Smith said. “(Depth) is something we struggle with here. We’re making sure we try and fill all events — getting those bottom points up and making sure the kids on top stay there.”
Sun sports writer Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or firstname.lastname@example.org