Swimmers use hard work, perseverance to excel at conference meet

The Mount Michael/Skutt Catholic swim team rode early season success to a second place finish in the River Cities Conference swim meet on Feb 15 at Ralston High School. The Knights were led by four different swimmers who finished within the top six in their respective races.

The strongest performance came from Joseph Johansen who took first place in both the 50 meter freestyle with a time of 22.06 seconds and the 100 meter freestyle with a time of 48.3 seconds, breaking his own school record.

“I felt like I did okay,” Joseph Johansen said. “I got my best times of the year, but I also thought I could have done better.”

One of the top moments of the meet was the 50 meter freestyle race. In the final heat, brothers Joseph and Xavier Johansen ‘22 were head to head in hope of winning the race. Although Xavier ended in fourth place, Joseph knows that the future is bright for his younger brother.

“It was pretty cool racing against him,” Joseph Johansen said. “I’m excited to see what he will be able to do in the next two seasons.”

The team knew that the meet would be an uphill battle, with perennial power Ralston/Omaha Gross often winning the event. However, they understood that their chances were strong thanks to a great week of practice prior to the meet.

“We had all tried really hard the entire week in practice.We knew this was an important meet so we had to give it our all in practice,” Landen Fogle ‘22 said “It seems to have paid off as we had multiple people from Mount Michael qualify for state.”

The Knights are sending five swimmers to the state meet this year. Joseph Johansen will swim the 50 and 100 meter individual races. All five will swim legs in relays including the following: the 200 medley Joseph Johansen and Xavier Johansen with Zach Rapoza ‘21 as alternate; the 200 free Joseph Johansen and Xavier Johansen; and the 400 free with Joseph Johansen and Brayden Whitaker ‘ 20 with Henry Hohman ‘21 as alternate.

“It really means a lot to be able to have a chance to swim in the meet as an alternate,” Hohman said. “I’ve put in a lot of work all season so I’m really excited for the possible opportunity.”

Overall, Hohman was happy about the results from the meet.

“It felt really good for our relay team to be able to qualify,” Hohman said. “We’ve swam well together all season, so it’s good to know that all the hard work paid off.”

With the conference meet behind them now, the team turns their focus towards the state meet.

“I’m hoping to place top eight in my two individual events,” Joseph Johansen said. “I also feel like our team can achieve success in our relays.”

The Mount is produced by the students of Mount Michael Benedictine School.