Smythe places in both events at state
Connor Smythe capped off his senior season by placing in two events and breaking two school records during the state Class A boys swimming meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
The Park Rapids senior finished 11th in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 49.83 and placed 14th in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 57.15 during Saturday’s finals.
Smythe qualified for the state meet by placing third in the 100 freestyle with a 50.23 and second in the 100 backstroke with a school-record time of 56.19 at the Section 5A meet.
During Friday’s state preliminaries, Smythe tied for 11th place with a 49.57 to earn a spot in the consolation finals. That time broke Jonah Winter’s school record of 49.94 set in 2003. Fergus Falls’ Cal Mouritsen led the way with a 46.87 while Austin’s Craig Heimark clocked a 48.50 to claim the final spot in the finals. Smythe entered state as the No. 14 seed out of 20 qualifiers.
In Friday’s preliminaries of the 100 backstroke, Smythe finished 11th and broke his school record with a 56.15. St. Thomas Academy’s Sam Johanns had the fastest time of 51.88 while Orono’s William Brenton clocked a 55.61 for the final spot in the finals. Smythe entered state tied for the No. 8 seed out of 26 qualifiers.
Smythe capped off his fourth and final state meet by scoring 9 points for 32nd place in the team standings. Smythe qualified for state as a member of the 200 medley relay team as a freshman and helped the 200 freestyle relay advance to state as a sophomore and a junior. This was Smythe’s third trip to state in the 100 backstroke. He placed 16th in 57.47 as a sophomore and earned all-state honors by placing eighth in 56.21 as a junior.
During Saturday’s state finals, Mouritsen captured the state title in the 100 freestyle in 46.15 while Johanns won the state title in the 100 backstroke with a 51.42 in helping St. Thomas Academy claim the team title with 417 points. Breck/Blake was second with 235 points while Fergus Falls was third with 150 points.