Schulte earns fourth career state medal for the Lakers

Camdenton was in the pool for the final show of the year on Saturday at the Class 1 State Meet where the Lakers finished 18th among the 35 schools who fielded teams. 

Camdenton coach Sarah VanBebber was just glad her swimmers got to complete the season in the midst of an ongoing pandemic that has caused plenty of uncertainty.

"It was definitely a unique experience this year. State was drastically different than normal, but we are thankful MSHSAA found a way for us to compete amidst the chaos of the current predicament," VanBebber said. "For the circumstances, our team gave it their best."

Camdenton posted 31.5 points as a team and one Laker came back with All-State honors as senior Gavin Schulte earned an All-State finish for the third straight season and his fourth career state medal overall by finishing third in the 50 freestyle. 

Schulte posted a time of 31.72 seconds, not far behind state champion Ben Hines of Nevada who touched the wall at 20.28 seconds, respectively. It was a personal record for the senior going back to the beginning of his high school swim career. Senior teammate Dane Lapine, also a returning state qualifier, swam in the event and nearly reached the podium finishing just outside the top eight with a 10th place time of 22.37 seconds, also a personal record. Schulte also nearly reached the podium in the 100 free where he captured ninth at 48.93 seconds. 

The Lakers were also in three different relay events and the best finish of the day came from the 200 medley relay team as Lapine, junior Noah Normand and sophomores Jonah Rapp and Fischer Lapine placed 22nd at 1:58.13. The 400 free relay team of Dane, Schulte, Rapp and Normand captured 24th with a time of 3:44.81 and the 200 free relay team of Lapine, Schulte, Rapp and Normand were disqualified. 

"Our relays experienced some difficulty. We had different lineups for the relays due to quarantines and race limits," VanBebber noted. "I am very proud of your younger swimmers who stepped up to swim in relay groups they had not swam with before. That shows the willingness of these guys to do what needs to be done, even when it is uncomfortable and new. They gave it all they had, and I am proud of the work they put in this season."

After finishing 34th as a team in 2018 and 21st in 2019, the Lakers have steadily improved and time will soon tell if this program can continue to find ways to climb the proverbial ladder after wrapping up its fifth season of existence.

"The results may not have been what was expected or desired, but these swimmers have shown skills and abilities that will last long after their time in the pool has ended," VanBebber said. "Those who return next year have a great legacy of leadership to follow from the seniors and I am excited to build on the hard work from the last four years."