West B swimming 1/14

Senior John Mejia placed third in the 100-yard freestyle in 57.19 during Mankato West’s Big Nine Conference boys swimming victory at the MSU pool.

Junior Ross Wempen swam some different events for Mankato West on Tuesday but the results were pretty much the same.

The standout freestyler came away with four first-place performances to lead the Scarlets to a 95-85 Big Nine Conference victory over Rochester Mayo at the MSU pool.

“It was my first time this year doing some distance events,” Wempen admitted afterward. “It was the coach’s decision, not mine ... I’m pretty tired.”

Wempen won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:56.86 and took the 500-freestyle in 5:28.59. He also swam the opening legs for the winning 200-freestyle relay (1:36.52) and 400-freestyle relay (3:41.63).

“I think I might have tweaked my back a little in the 500,” Wempen said. “It affected me a little bit in the last two relays, but not much.”

Joining Wempen in the 200-free relay were Kevin Behr, Brady Freiderich and Chris Kolb. The other swimmers in the 400-free relay where Greg Vose, Steve Sorenson and Behr.

Also taking firsts for the Scarlets were Kolb in the 50-freestyle (23.72), Sorenson in the 100-butterfly (1:01.92), Randall Wempen in the 100-backstroke (1:02.09) and the 200-medley relay team of Randall Wempen, Kolb, Freiderich and Behr (1:51.33).

Senior John Mejia didn’t win any events but continued to impress in his final season of swimming. He’s been posting the best times of his career and has proven to be a valuable asset.

“He’s been a pleasant surprise,” head coach Andy Viker said. “Randall Wempen has been coming on, too, and so have Brady and Kevin Behr.

“We have a lot of guys cutting in almost every meet. It’s been a weird season that way — that’s what you hope to do but it doesn’t happen very often.”

Mejia said he worked out a lot during the offseason.

“I was a lifeguard at the YMCA so I got to swim a lot,” he said. “When my shift got over I’d jump in the water and start working out.”

Mankato West (3-1) is back in action at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Section True Team Meet in Austin.

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