Metz swims to 100 free state title

Sports Editor

Benilde senior adds a runner-up finish in 200 free at Class A championships

Two-time Section 2A Swimmer of the Year, Tyler Metz, a Benilde-St. Margaret’s senior, finished off his prep swimming career on top of the podium on Saturday.

He captured the 100-yard freestyle Class A title in a winning time of 46.23 seconds and was second in the 200 free final in 1:42.06.

Benilde senior Tyler Metz receives the first-place medal after winning the Class A state 100-yard freestyle state title on Saturday. (Sun Sailor photo by Jason Olson)
Benilde senior Tyler Metz receives the first-place medal after winning the Class A state 100-yard freestyle state title on Saturday. (Sun Sailor photo by Jason Olson)

As a junior he was fourth and seventh, respectively, meaning a return to the final-eight podium was a reality on Saturday.

As for standing in that No. 1 position on the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center pool deck was an exciting way to go out on top for Metz.

“It was really great,” he said. “I’ve been swimming the 100 free for a couple years and its kinda been the goal I’ve been looking at for awhile so it was really rewarding to be able to do it.”

Competing in the fastest pool in the state only helped Metz dig even deeper over the final 50 meters of the 100 free to make sure he put all he had into touching the wall before anyone else. He slashed 0.69 of a second from his prelims time to beat Breck/Blake sophomore runner-up Dylan Brown by 0.77 seconds.

“I’m really happy with my race, the whole 100 (free) and 200 (free) felt really well. I just felt really good in the water, knowing I was giving it my all on my last run.”

The reality of being a final swim for the Red Knights set in before the 100, which he used to for even more motivation. He explained: “I used it for motivation, the last 50 on the 100 I really drilled knowing it was my last race, maybe forever.”

Benilde senior Tyler Metz, middle, takes off from the starting blocks at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center during the Class A finals of the 200-yard freestyle Saturday. Metz was runner-up in the event and won the 100 free state title. (Sun Sailor photo by Jason Olson)
Benilde senior Tyler Metz, middle, takes off from the starting blocks at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center during the Class A finals of the 200-yard freestyle Saturday. Metz was runner-up in the event and won the 100 free state title. (Sun Sailor photo by Jason Olson)

In the 200 free he lowered his prelims time by 1.60 seconds to post a personal-best time of 1:42.06 to trail only Winona junior Griffin Wolner’s winning time of 1:41.63.

He also won the 200 and 100 events at the section meet at a junior, so this time around he had an idea he might be a multiple-time Section 2A Swimmer of the Year.

“I felt pretty good going into state. I knew I would be competing against fast people but that I was up there with them,” he said about coming into this season.

Since last season’s state meet, Metz really focused on refining his turns and staying streamline in the water. “That was a weak point in my events and if I nailed those I had a good chance of improving,” he said.

Red Knights senior Tyler Metz takes a breath during the 200 free finals at the Class A state meet on Saturday. He finished fourth and seventh in Class A 100 and 200 free events as a junior. (Sun Sailor photo by Jason Olson)
Red Knights senior Tyler Metz takes a breath during the 200 free finals at the Class A state meet on Saturday. He finished fourth and seventh in Class A 100 and 200 free events as a junior. (Sun Sailor photo by Jason Olson)

Metz anchored the Red Knights 200-yard freestyle relay which placed 12th in 1:30.52 after turning in a 1:30.41 time in the prelims with the foursome that included junior Michael Hunter, sophomore Matt McGonigle and senior Tommy McGinn before Metz.

Metz swam the fourth-quickest final leg and fifth-quickest of any leg in the event of 21.18 out of 16 teams.

McGonigle finished sixth in the 500 free in 4:53.09 and McGinn was eighth in 4:57.04.

Junior Graham Noble was 14th in the 100 backstroke in 56.75.

Benilde sophomore McGonigle finished sixth in the 500 free in 4:53.09. Sun Sailor staff photo by Jason Olson
Benilde sophomore McGonigle finished sixth in the 500 free in 4:53.09. Sun Sailor staff photo by Jason Olson

Breck/Blake beat out St. Thomas Academy by 61 points for the Class A team title while Orono was third, 154.5 points back. Breck/Blake and Orono also swim out of Section 2A with the Benilde-St. Margaret’s which picked up 74 points to place 10th out of 33 teams.

Orono’s winning 200 medley relay team of Will Brenton, Peter Sherek, Sig Muller and Andy Kileen set a new Class A state record time of 1:33.95. St. Thomas Academy set the previous record of 1:34.09 in 2015. Eden Prairie set the all-time state record in the Class AA final in 2016 of 1:30.70.

Contact Jason Olson at [email protected]