Boys swim and dive finishes fourth in the conference meet


Junior Avery Letourneau and senior CJ Hier led the team to a conference meet fourth-place finish at Northview, earning themselves All-Conference honors along the way. Key victories early on put the Rangers in a good spot, while races such as CJ’s 100 yard backstroke continued the flow of points until the end of the meet.

This was a victory for the Rangers; they proved themselves to be a threat as a new FHC-only team. In addition to team accomplishments, this was a historic day for FHC sports, as Avery broke a school record in the 100-yard fly, and CJ now has the school record for the 100-yard back. Altogether with the regular season and conference meet, the Rangers took second in the conference.

“It was a fantastic meet. The guys have really been wonderful about taking on a new challenge,” said head coach Dennis Neat on the meet and season overall. “To become their own team for the first time in 22 years and to finish second overall in the conference is incredible.”

The meet began with the 200-yard medley relay. The team of  CJ, sophomore Benji Zorn, Avery, and freshman Ben Rogala took second with their time of 1:36.18. Avery followed this up with a second-place finish in the 200-yard free with his time of 1:44.17. With a time of 1:57.51, CJ Hier won the 200-yard individual medley, breaking the pool record at Northview for the event. This is an amazing feat and one of the biggest accomplishments this year for CJ.

“It was very special for me to get the pool record and win all-conference,” said CJ about his accomplishments in the meet. CJ is a captain of the team, and Neat said he is one of the strongest leaders on the team and a standout performer from the meet.

Ben took 12th in the 50-yard free with his time of 22.78 after that race, followed by sophomore Cole Hysong, who took fifth in the diving event with his score of 397.70. In his school-record performance with the 100-yard fly, Avery took third with his time of 51.05. Ben raced in the 100-yard free, taking 11th with his time of 49.92. Sophomore Andrew Kerssies then took 11th again in the 500-yard free with his time of 5:17.83.

Next up was the 200-yard free relay, which freshman Gavin Cai, senior Dani Ahmetovic, Benji, and senior Kyle Carter took seventh in with their time of 1:32.27. The 100-yard back was a school-record 52.55 for CJ, who got second in the race. Benji raced in the 100-yard breast, taking seventh with his time of 1:02.27. He was very happy with the team and individual performances in the meet.

“The team and I thought the meet was great,” Benji said. “We took a huge win today and can’t wait for states.”

The meet concluded with the 400-yard free relay; Kyle, Ben, Avery, and CJ took fourth with their time of 3:17.86. In total, Avery and CJ secured All-Conference and got school records, CJ took the pool record, and the Rangers came away with four more state cuts, creating a team of about ten guys who will go on to represent the Rangers come time for the state meet.

“It was a great meet,” Avery said. “The prelims were very fast, and we pulled it all together during the finals. Individually, it’s awesome to be All-Conference, really good meet.”

The next meet will be the final one for the Rangers, as they head to states with the qualifiers on their team. For the rest of the team, this was an amazing first season for a new team, taking second overall in the conference and establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Neat talked about next year after the meet.

“We’ve created a great camaraderie this year and set the bar for the future teams,” Neat said. “We need a few more bodies, so if you’re interested in swimming, join the swim team so we can keep on doing what we’re doing.”