North swimmers shine at true team section

The North High School boys swimming and diving team went up against some perennial powers at the recent Section 4AA true-team meet. Keeping up with the likes of Stillwater and Mounds View proved difficult, but the Polars did turn in some notable individual performances.

Out of 11 swimming events, North posted the top time in three and the second-fastest time in three others.

North juniors Jared Baetzold and Mitchell Whyte were responsible for the Polars’ event wins. 

Baetzold captured first place in both the 50 and 100-yard freestyles. He won the 50 free with a time of 21.40 seconds and won the event by 0.08 seconds. His winning time in the 100 free was 46.71 seconds to give him the victory by more than a second and a half.

Whyte won the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 52 seconds even and beat out the runner-up from Stillwater by 0.61 seconds. Whyte is the defending Class AA state champion in the backstroke.

Whyte and Baetzold both swam in four events at the state meet last season. They joined forces in the 200-yard medley relay and the 200-yard freestyle relay. Whyte competed individually in the backstroke and the butterfly, while Baetzold’s individual events were the 100 and 200-yard freestyles.

North got second-place performances at true-team section in the 200-yard medley relay, the 400-yard freestyle relay and the butterfly. 

Whyte, Baetzold, junior Maxwell Parks and eighth grader Jack Baude combined to take second place in the medley relay with a time of 1:41.76. Stillwater won the event with a time of 1:41.37.

Whyte, Baetzold, Baude and sophomore Nathan Huntley swam the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:25.29 to finish behind only a team from Stillwater. 

Whyte turned in a second-place performance in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 51.62 seconds. He finished a quarter of a second out of first place.

Also competing at the section true-team meet for the Polars were juniors Michael Thao and Tony Mudek; sophomores Devin Reiling, Ty Hunt and Jacob Mudek; freshmen Adam Thao, Jeremiah Branovsky, Tyson Sonnek, Cody Semonis and Jesus Garcilla-Badillo; and eighth grader Jonathan Peabody.

North finished fourth in the team standings with 521 points. Stillwater won the section true-team title with 1,130 points and Mounds View was second with 1,013. Both Stillwater and Mounds View advanced to the state true-team meet, which was held past the deadline for this edition of the Review.

On the schedule this week for the Polars is a Metro East Conference and district showdown with Tartan on Feb. 2 at the Skyview Middle School pool.


Brian Meyers can be reached at or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.


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