Karpenko wins state
Sophomore Andrew Karpenko won the boys’ 200 individual medley (IM) at the Minnesota high school swimming state championship on Saturday, March 3. Not only winning but also setting a new personal best with a time of 1:53.32. Karpenko also took 2nd in the 100 breaststroke (BR) with a time of 56.89, another personal best and an All-American Consideration time.
At the beginning of the season Karpenko made three goals: win the 200IM, take second in the 100BR and to finish in the top 20 as a team. Finishing at 18th, tied with Red Wing and Benilde-St. Margaret’s, he achieved all three of his goals.
“One of my fellow swimmers phrases it like this: ‘practice is like your vegetables that you have to eat to stay healthy, but the end of season meet, or state, is like your dessert’,” said Karpenko. “With that in mind, competing at state is really a just chance to go out and have a little fun. To do well is also extremely rewarding. It makes all of the hard work worth it.”
As a one man team, Karpenko earned all of the points by himself. Although at meets Karpenko competes by himself, he is grateful for the Blake-Breck Co-op who lets him train with them.
“It can be really hard sometimes,” explained Karpenko. “I’ve always performed better when others are counting on me, so finding the motivation can be difficult. However, the Breck-Blake co-op has really welcomed me, and I feel like a part of the team even though I compete by myself. I owe a lot to the both the coaches and athletes there.”
Adding on to his state championship accomplishments Karpenko was voted the Section 4A swimmer of the year by the other coaches. With a 4.0 GPA Karpenko also received the Section 4A gold academic award, going to the swim team with the highest GPA. Next season Karpenko hopes to defend his title and also take the 100 BR title.