Freeman third after state diving semifinals
Detroit Lakes senior Zane Freeman and Park Rapids sophomore Spencer Fritze are sitting in the top five after the semifinal round of diving at the Minnesota Class A State Swimming and Diving championships Thursday afternoon at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
The duo battled to the final dive at the section championship with Freeman winning on his final attempt. Both divers have traded wins against each other all season long.
“That’s what has pushed us,” Freeman said. “We’ve improved together and it’s great that I brought him here. He pushes me. I push him and hopefully, we can be somewhere at the top together.”
After the preliminary round, Freeman sat in second place and Fritze was a spot back in third. The only diver ahead of the Section 5A duo was Jack Cuddy of Northfield, last year’s runner-up.
Cuddy grabbed the top spot with 203.45 points from the judges. Freeman scored 178.10 and Fritze 172.15.
Freeman is making his fourth trip to the finals and is trying to better last year’s career-best fifth place finish
“The experience does help but the most nerve wracking is actually sections,” he said. “It’s the gateway to get here and now you’re here, might as well just relax and keep it cool.”
Cuddy held his lead through the semifinal round finishing with a score of 308.05. Ebenezer Ojo of Simley made a move from fourth place after prelims to a second place score of 305.65. Freeman sits in third with 266.30. Fritze had a slight slip on his first dive in the semis but got back on track to land in fifth place with 248.05.
Saturday’s finals consist of only three dives in front of a packed house mid-meet of the swimming finals.
“Big dives are definitely coming,” said Freeman. “The great thing about Saturday is it’s noisy. It’s crazy and we practice at the CC. There are kids running around all the time. I’m a fan of noise and I like to feed off that. That will help.
Cuddy and Ojo are in a two-man fight for the top spot, but points can come quickly with a precise dive allowing for late jockeying for podium positions. Freeman knows that from winning late to claim his third straight section title.
“There is always a possibility,” he said. “Keep swinging. Don’t go down until the end of the meet. It’s always in the sights.”
Caleb Neubauer and Evan Erlandson of Fergus Falls are in 10th and 15th places, respectively.
2017 MSHSL Boys A Swim & Dive Championships - Thursday, March 2
Boys 1 mtr Diving
1, Jack Cuddy, Northfield, 308.05. 2, Ebenezer Ojo, Simley,
305.65. 3, Zane Freeman, Detroit Lakes, 266.30. 4, Davis Harrington,
BreckBlake, 255.30. 5, Spencer Fritze, Park Rapids Area, 248.05. 6, Jack
Grabinski, Sauk Rapids-Rice, 246.00. 7, Joshua Halloran, Simley, 242.55. 8,
Wil Kangas-Olson, Grand Rapids, 236.70. 9, Elijah Grabinski, Sauk Rapids-Rice,
235.00. 10, Caleb Neubauer, Fergus Falls, 234.25. 11, Jack Sampson,
Monticello, 229.50. 12, Riley Norton, Austin, 220.70. 13, Alex Schrock, Orono,
218.50. 14, Cade Boraas, Monticello, 214.75. 15, Evan Erlandson, Fergus Falls,
212.85. 16, Riley Pernat, Hibbing, 205.75. 17, Alex Nater, Grand Rapids,
200.45. 18, Daunte Williams, Fridley, 196.75. 19, Cody Oman, Chisholm, 195.70.
20, Ben Bardell, Columbia Heights, 166.35.
Boys 1 mtr Diving
1, Jack Cuddy, Northfield, 203.45. 2, Zane Freeman, Detroit
Lakes, 178.10. 3, Spencer Fritze, Park Rapids Area, 172.15. 4, Ebenezer Ojo,
Simley, 171.75. 5, Jack Grabinski, Sauk Rapids-Rice, 155.25. 6, Wil
Kangas-Olson, Grand Rapids, 153.95. 7, Joshua Halloran, Simley, 151.40. 8,
Caleb Neubauer, Fergus Falls, 150.65. 9, Jack Sampson, Monticello, 150.25. 10,
Elijah Grabinski, Sauk Rapids-Rice, 148.00. 11, Davis Harrington, BreckBlake,
145.85. 12, Evan Erlandson, Fergus Falls, 140.70. 13, Riley Norton, Austin,
139.00. 14, Alex Schrock, Orono, 137.25. 15, Daunte Williams, Fridley, 137.15.
16, Cade Boraas, Monticello, 136.55. 17, Cody Oman, Chisholm, 132.80. 18,
Riley Pernat, Hibbing, 128.00. 19, Alex Nater, Grand Rapids, 125.75. 20, Ben
Bardell, Columbia Heights, 125.55. 21, Tyler Cook, South St Paul, 125.15. 22,
Jason Hegedus, St Thomas Academy, 118.05. 23, Abednego Gorshe, Richfield,
93.10. 24, Matthew Watkins, Orono, 87.75.