Despite missing out on a Division 2 state swimming title by less than one second, the Sturgeon Bay co-op team’s Brock Aune was able to keep the outcome in perspective.
“I went in last night with my eye on a title but came out second,” Aune said. “However, I couldn’t be happier with the way I performed and with the times I put out. I can’t wait for next season and another shot at the 100 breaststroke.”
Edgewood’s Truman teDuits held off Aune in the 100 breastroke, with a time of 56.93, just ahead of Aune at 57.60. teDuits had a .3-second lead on Aune at the halfway mark and held him off with a late push.
“From what I heard from coach [Jeff Norton], I lost a little ground on the last pullout, which ultimately cost me the race,” Aune said. He placed second in the 100 breastroke to teammate Max McHugh in last year’s state meet, but McHugh – a heavy favorite in that race – won by more than seven seconds, with a national-record time of 51.62.
“I was able to hold on until the end, but it just wasn’t enough to catch back up to teDuits,” added Aune, who had the second-fastest time heading into the meet. “But this was all just another learning experience, and I know what to fix up next time.”
Aune’s finish was part of a busy evening for the junior from Southern Door High School. Aune placed third behind Jeremiah Mansavage of Fort Atkinson and Lakeland Union’s Liam Hogan in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.96.
Aune teamed up with Luke Bousley, Drew Rass and Ethan Almstadt to finish 15th in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:44.47. Aune, Almstadt, Bousley and Jacob Norton placed 10th in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:32.04.
Bousley, who competed in two relays in the 2018 state meet as a freshman, finished 13th in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 50.40.
“I came into the state meet less nervous than I did last year,” Bousley said. “I knew what to expect, so I enjoyed the experience more. I felt as if I competed at a higher level and was faster; however, I know I have higher aspirations for next year. I know what I need to do in order to have a podium finish, and that will be the focus of my off-season.”
Edgewood scored 289 points to win the team title over runner-up and defending champion Monona Grove. The Clippers team, which finished sixth last year, came in 16th with 55 points.
Both Aune and Bousley said they are excited for next season. All five state-meet participants will return, along with James Pollock and Jace Johnson. The Clippers will need to find replacements for seniors Will Albertson and Ian Bartz.
“I’m very pleased with how our team performed on Friday night and am excited to see them improve even more in the coming seasons,” Aune said. “A lot of these kids have two or three more years left, so getting an experience like this will only benefit them for next year. They all have a feel for the pool and the atmosphere now and know what to expect for the next time.”