Kauffeld swims into school history


Photo by McKenzie Dohm

Sophomore Mason Kauffeld surfaces for a breath while swimming butterfly. Butterfly is one of the four strokes included in the 200 I.M.. “I was kinda nervous but thrilled at the same time," Kauffeld said. He is the first male swimmer to swim at state for WHS.

On Nov. 9, sophomore Mason Kauffeld made WHS swimming history when he took the block in lane six to swim the 200-yard Individual Medley at MSSHA Swimming State Championships. Following his second season as an aqua jay, Kauffeld earned State Consideration times in the 200-yard butterfly and 500-yard freestyle, but it was the 200 I.M. time that punched Kauffeld’s ticket to state, being the first male swimmer to do so for the Blue Jays.

“I was excited,” Kauffeld said. “I was kinda nervous but thrilled at the same time.”

Kauffeld’s nerves came from the level of intensity he would be facing in the pool. Unlike any other meet he’s ever swam at, his opponents were made up of the fastest 32 swimmers in the state.

“[The competition] felt more equal there,” Kauffeld said. “I felt more level. It was better at state than any other meet because the competition was really good.”

Kauffeld kept his seeded 28 place in the 200 I.M. during his race and swam a time consistent with his best of the season. Now, after getting a taste of what state is like, Mason is already preparing for his junior year season.

“I swim for Washington High School, for the Washington outdoor summer swim team and the FRAY (Four River Area YMCA) team,” Kauffeld said. “I normally end up taking a break between the seasons, and I don’t swim. This year I’m just going to swim at the Y in-between each of those [seasons] to keep my speed. So whenever I go into next year, I’ll be able to make a state time right off the bat.”

Kauffeld is extremely thankful for such a successful season and the overwhelming support he received, including the school wide state send-off assembly, which he described as “thrilling.”

“The support was nice,” Kauffeld said. “There was a lot of support from everyone: teachers, classmates, people I don’t even know.”