High hopes for Blue JaysAs with every year since Jamestown High School boys swimming and diving coach Ben Smith took over, school and pool records could likely fall this season.
By: By Chris Aarhus, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
As with every year since Jamestown High School boys swimming and diving coach Ben Smith took over, school and pool records could likely fall this season.
The Blue Jays enter the season with high hopes, led by sophomore Colt Rasmussen, a second-team all-state selection. Smith said Colt is looking to break records set by his older brother Lief, who graduated in 2005.
Colt Rasmussen swims the 200- and 500-yard freestyle. The Jays visit Bismarck for a dual on Saturday.
“His goal is to take on his brother’s two school records,” Smith said. “We’ve broken a lot of team records already in the past three or four years. It’s something we know can be done. It’s a big goal for them, with relays and individuals.”
Smith estimated his total roster at around 30, which is similar to the numbers the program had last year. However, new blood continues to flow into the system including a host of middle-schoolers.
“We have a lot of middle school kids that came out this year,” he said. “It’s good to see the program coming around. We struggled for a while with numbers. It’s good to see kids taking an interest in this program.”
The Jays have turned to a pair of seniors and juniors to lead this year’s team. Seniors Grant Curtis and Brandon Hart were picked as captains, as was juniors Braydon Love and Riley Thom, who is a diver.
“The team is ready to work hard,” Smith said. “We have lofty goals for this year. This is probably one of the strongest boys teams that Jamestown has had in a long time.”
Rasmussen finished ninth in the 500 freestyle and 10th in the 200 freestyle at state last year. Hunter Boehm took 14th in the 50 free. The Blue Jays’ best returning finisher is Hunter Munson, who placed seventh in the diving competition with 348.45 points. Thom took 12th.
Smith said one of the big pluses to this team is that there aren’t many holes in the lineup; the key will be everyone gradually improving their times and scores.
“We have the field pretty much covered,” Smith said. “Where we are right now, we just need to improve on the times we’ve already accomplished. It could be an exciting year.”
Minot and Bismarck Century will once again field strong teams with solid numbers, as will Fargo North and West Fargo in the East Region. After that, it’s anybody’s guess.
“After them, I could see us being in there,” Smith said. “The boys know what it takes to compete at the next level. ... They want to get better and get to that next level.”
Sun sports writer Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org