Vikings ready to test the waters in 2019
By Becky Walz
Members of the Decorah boys’swim team for 2019 are (front, l-r) Coach Laura Storlie, James VanderVelden, Braydon Saltou, John Starrett, Caleb Huebner, Jackson Penny, Ryan Lubahn, Drew Chamberlain, Gareth Sweet, Isaac Dixon, Quinn Baumann, manager Lauren Johnson; (back row) Cole Huebner, Bradyn Hook, Andrew Heine, Adam Jones, Gus Grimstad and Max Maitland. (Photo courtesy of Tami Bohr)

There is a host of talent returning to the water for the Decorah boys’ swim team in 2019, including 11 letter winners and four individuals with state experience.

With excitement and a positive outlook for the new season Head Coach Laura Storlie, is back for her fourth season.

Strong season

With 10 letter winners and three state qualifiers, the Vikings were poised to make a splash in 2018 — and that they did.

For the second time in the program’s history, Decorah won the North Central Swim Conference title by 10 points over Boone. Hosting the conference meet at the Luther Natatorium, the Vikings placed two relays and three individuals on top of the podium. Winning gold was the 200-medley relay of Gus Grimstad, Jackson Penny, Bradyn Hook and Christian Johnson. Grimstad was a two-time individual champion, claiming the 200 individual medley and the 100 back. Drew Chamberlain rode the waves to victory in the 500 free. Decorah capped off the successful day by blowing the competition out of the water in the 400 free relay. Members of the winning team were Andrew Heine, Hook, Cole Huebner and Grimstad.

Finishing fourth at the district meet, Decorah qualified three events for the state meet. Grimstad punched two tickets to state for the second year in a row, finishing

Viking swimmers returning to the water with a letter include (front, l-r) Bradyn Hook, Caleb Huebner, Ryan Lubahn, Drew Chamberlain; (back row) Braydon Saltou, Andrew Heine, Gus Grimstad, Isaac Dixon and Jackson Penny. (Photo courtesy of Tami Bohr)

runner-up in the 100 butterfly and 100 back. His 100 butterfly time of 52.87 seconds was a new school record. Also qualifying on time was the 200-medley relay quartet of Grimstad, Penny, Hook and Johnson.

Seeded 24th at state, the 200-medley finished the season in 22nd place at state in 1:43.45. Grimstad finished the day in seventh place in the 100 butterfly in 52.61, breaking his own school record. A time of 53.64