The co-op from Blake/Breck took third at the Class 1A state swimming and diving meet this weekend, and senior Mitchell Foster was a big reason behind the team’s podium appearance. The senior won the 200-yard individual medley for a second consecutive year, took second in the 100 backstroke and led off the winning 200 medley relay team. Foster will swim next year at Harvard, where his sister, Taylor, is on the women’s swim team.

The Star Tribune caught up with Foster after the boys’ state meet this weekend and talked about school, swimming and a friendly rivalry.


How do you feel the state meet weekend went for you? The weekend was great; I enjoyed it. I love the team I have and we really came together and pulled off a really great meet.


What was it like being part of the 200-yard medley relay team that won state? That’s probably one of my favorite moments of high school swimming. That was, I believe, our fifth year winning it in a row. So it’s a big part of what our team is. I love leading it off and trying to get a lead for our team. It’s really fun when it comes down to that final race and you have the free-styler jump in, and he touched [the wall] first so it’s pretty cool.


What does winning an individual medley relay say about your versatility? I always love the IM. I would say you definitely have your strong events in the IM, you’re definitely not perfect in all the strokes so it’s a tough race for anyone. I had a good race, it was my best time ever, so it was fun.


Was it difficult for you coming up just short in the 100-yard backstroke? Actually, the kid that beat me, Cole Bateman, we’ve … had a swimming rivalry in the backstroke since 8th grade. … He’s there to push me and I’m there to push him. He came out on top on Saturday, so congrats for him.


So have you developed a friendship over the years or is it a rivalry? I would say both. It’s hard to talk to the person you’re trying to beat when you’re right behind the block. But when you’re away from the pool, it’s a different story.


What are you going to do with your free time now that the state meet is behind you? I’ll swim in the summer and I still swim now. But I’m going to go play baseball for my school [in the spring]. The high school [swim] season died down but there’s a bunch of other things coming up after it.


When will you start doing work with Harvard’s swim team? I don’t have to show up to Harvard until August for a preseason training trip so I kind of have the whole summer to get ready for college and all that stuff.


Are you excited about the opportunity to swim for Harvard? I’m really excited. It’s a great group of guys and I feel like it will help excel my swimming.


Derek Wetmore is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune.