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Image of Cadet Senior Swimmers

Photograph By Liam Brennan '21

Chlorine is My Perfume

By Mitchell MacDonald '20

It’s 5:30 am. The Saint Thomas Academy parking lot appears empty, except for a few cars scattered around the dimly lit pavement. As you walk in the empty school, you hear loud music and the clanging of metal coming from the basement. As you get closer to the source of the commotion, you begin to recognize the thuds of large weights being dropped and the bumping of fast-paced techno. What kind of crazy people would be doing such an activity before the sun rises? It is none other than the Academy’s Swim and Dive team doing a routine lift to get in shape.

The Swim and Dive team has a legacy of being one of the most decorated sports teams since the school’s establishment. With enough state championship victories to cover both hands in rings and numerous section titles, the swim and dive team is more than just talk. Led by the king himself, John Barnes, the swim team had another incredible season. The group started their journey with a huge win against multiple fast AA teams at the Laker Invite at Saint Kate’s University. The most notable event of the night was when Ryan Auran ‘20, ran into the meet over an hour late and just a mere minute before his race was to begin. Ryan stepped up on the blocks, seemingly out of breath, and swept the competition, taking home gold. 

As the season progressed, the team was building steam into one of the biggest meets of the year, True Team State. Each team submits four swimmers in every event, including relays, thus resulting in a strenuous test of depth. This means that in order to do well in the meet, a team would require at least 16 good swimmers. To the swim team’s advantage, a strong incoming class of freshmen filled in the cracks of the team providing a strong lineup for the upcoming meet. After a long day of swimming and battling against the returning state champions Blake/Breck, the Cadets finished in second. Although the team was looking to bring home first place, they swam with heart and passion, repetitively chanting the classic “Tommies, Tommies” chant any time a cadet stepped up to the blocks. 

At the conclusion of True Team State, the team laid its sights on the next big meet: Sections. In preparation for the meet, the team underwent a ruthless two weeks of training. The determination and work ethic of the swimmers allowed them to endure four hours of intense lifting, sprints, and breath control for two weeks in order to break down their bodies one last time before the championship season. The team knew they had to perform at their peak if they wanted to make a run at winning state. Sections arrived and the cadets swam with their typical passion and heart. The team thrived off the energy, especially seen in senior Evan Santrizos and sophomore Ian Rutgers both qualifying for state in both of their events. Outscoring second place by 100s of points, the Cadets swept their section. They were all set for the final meets of the year, state preliminaries and state finals. When talking to senior captain and muffin enthusiast, Alex Adams ‘20, he said the team is “more than ready.” 

The sun rose for the last time before the end of the season on February 29th. The team had previously qualified nearly all its swims the day before at prelims and was ready to attack the competition the next day. The Cadets swam their hearts out, pouring every ounce of pride and passion they had into the pool. At the end of a battle with multiple schools like Winona and Sartell, the Cadets finished just short of the returning champions the Blake/Breck Bearstangs. The Cadets had a great year and showed how far dedication and hard work can bring you. As the swim and dive team looks into next year's season, recently announced captains Ian Rutgers ‘22, Aidan Mir ‘21, Teddy Farrel ‘21, and Wil Applebaum ‘21 are ready to take the class of 2021 swimmers and divers to victory.

Swimming & Diving Hype Video - By Pawel Williams '20