Warriors Athlete of Week: Senior Sumption a swimming sensation for Warriors

Brainerd Warrior senior Cayden Sumption will be competing in four events at the Class 2A State Swimming and Diving Meet.

Athlete Cayden Sumption swims the breaststroke.
Brained Warrior Cayden Sumption swims the breaststroke Monday, Feb. 17, 2023, in the Brainerd High School Pool.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD -- Cayden Sumption reached his goal, but now he’s going to be a busy young man.

The Brainerd Warrior senior advanced to the Class 2A State swimming and diving meet in all four of his events following the Section 8-2A Finals Saturday, Feb. 25, at Brainerd High School.

Sumption finished second in both of his individual events and helped Brainerd’s 200-yard medley relay and 200 freestyle relay to state.

“It’s super exciting to compete at state, especially seeded how I am in the breaststroke,” Sumption said. “It’s rewarding.

“I’m hopeful I can drop time in all of my events. I really do think an extra week of taper will help me out greatly.”


He’s so dependable and consistent in what he does
John Zemke

Sumption opened his weekend by helping Brainerd post the fastest medley relay time in Friday’s prelims. The foursome of Nathan Chaussee, Sumption, Mason Kuepers and Sam McCulley swam a 1:38.75.

Two events later, Sumption swam a 2:03.54 for the second-fastest 200 individual medley time.

The foursome of Kuepers, Nolan Thiesse, Parker Tatge and Sumption then swam a 1:31.36 for the second-fastest 200 freestyle relay time.

Sumption's prelims concluded with the second-fastest time in the 100 breaststroke. He swam a 1:01.05.

“He’s a talented kid and he grew up in the (YMCA) program and learned all of the strokes at a young age,” Warriors head coach John Zemke said. “He’s really blossomed the last two years and especially this year and it’s all because of the hard work he’s put in. You don’t become a fast swimmer by swimming from December 1 to March 1. You have to put in extra time and pretty much year-round and Cayden definitely did that. It’s great to see him accomplish everything he’s been able to do. We’re looking for some even faster swims from him this weekend.”

In Saturday’s finals, Sumption finished second in the individual medley with a 2:01.99. He trailed only Buffalo’s Cooper Polzin, who swam a 2:00.33. Sumption’s section time has him seeded 18th at state.

“I was really hopeful,” Sumption said. “In prelims, I didn’t drop as much time as I wanted to, but going into finals, I knew that there were some fast people racing me so I just put my head down and gave it all I had. I dropped a lot of time and it went well.”

In the breaststroke, Sumption posted a 59.27, which was just behind Moorhead’s Aiden Carlson for the section title. Sumption’s time has him seeded 10th for the state meet.


“It’s super exciting,” Sumption said. “I was not expecting to be seeded that high based on my section time. It’s really nice to see all that hard work pay off and hopefully, we can give it a good run for the money at state.”

Zemke said most individual medley swimmers are good breastrokers so Sumption’s two individual events were an easy selection.

“The breaststroke really just started for me because it was the stroke that I was best at,” Sumption said. “I was the best at the breaststroke. Over time I really grew to love it because I was good at it. This season has been going well. I didn’t drop as much time as I wanted to throughout the season, but a good tapper could mean a lot. I was right at my goal time. I’m looking forward to competing at state.”

Brainerd’s medley relay ended up second in Saturday’s finals with a time of 1:39.27. The 200 free was also second in 1:29.72. Both of those times have Brainerd outside the top 16 cut heading into this Friday’s state prelims, but Sumption is confident time can be dropped.

“Honestly, I think we have a lot of room for improvement in both,” Sumption said. “I would probably lean toward the medley. I think I have a lot of time to drop in that event, but our 200 free we can drop a lot of time in that event too. I know we were playing our starts pretty safe at sections and I think we can do better at state.”

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Sumption's goals entering the season were state and major time drops. He’s hoping another week of rest will have him dropping even more time at state. He said he’s happy, but not content with his times, but he added it’s a swimmer’s dilemma. There is always a faster time to battle toward.

But Sumption worked at it. He traveled to St. Cloud to compete all summer on a club team. He dedicated himself to the weight room and as a team captain, he showed the younger teammates the hard work needed to be successful.

“Yes, I am happy with how this season progressed,” Sumption said. “I’m glad I put in that work.”


Zemke is also happy with the work Sumption put in during the offseason.

“It’s great to see and we don’t see it a lot because we don’t have a club team here in the summer,” Zemke said. “If you’re going to be driving, the nearest club team is in St. Cloud/Sartell so it’s a big time commitment with meets on the weekend, while all of our buddies are doing other things. This is definitely a reward for him and he deserves all he’s earned.”

Prior to the season, Sumption signed his NCAA National Letter of Intent to swim for the next four years at St. Cloud State University. He hopes to also major in mechanical engineering. He said signing early was a huge burden lifted off his shoulders. Now he can concentrate on swimming eight more times as a Brainerd Warrior.

“He’s such a confident kid,” Zemke said. “He’s so dependable and consistent in what he does. We never see a bad race out of him. As a coach, that’s what you want to see. You don’t want to see a roller coaster where one meet they’re super fast and then the next meet they’re a lot slower. That part is great.”

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 855-5856 or Follow on Twitter at

Cayden Sumption

Cayden Sumption

Sport: Boys’ swimming and diving

Position: 100-yard breaststroke, 200 individual medley and relays

Year: Senior


Age: 18

Height: 6-foot-1

Career highlight: Advancing to the Class 2A State meet in four events

Grade-point average: 4.3

Favorite class: Calculus

Favorite food: Sushi

Favorite movie: “Star Wars: Episode IV -- A New Hope”

Favorite TV show: “Breaking Bad”


Favorite musician: Jay-Z

Favorite restaurant: Sakura Express

Future plans: Attend St. Cloud State University, major in mechanical engineering and swim

Favorite athlete: Adam Peaty

Parents: Jody and Trevor Sumption

Other notable performances

Cade Ostrowski, wrestling, finished 3-1 at the Section 8-3A Individual Tournament to advance to the Class 3A State Tournament.

Easton Dircks, wrestling, wrestling, finished 2-0 to win the 132-pound bracket at the Section 8-3A Individual Tournament and advance to the Class 3A State Tournament.


Isaiah German, wrestling, finished 3-1 at the Section 8-3A Individual Tournament to advance to the Class 3A State Tournament.

Isaiah Jillson, wrestling, finished 3-0 to win the 145-pound bracket at the Section 8-3A Individual Tournament and advance to the Class 3A State Tournament.

Shane Carlson, wrestling, finished 2-0 to win the 182-pound bracket at the Section 8-3A Individual Tournament and advance to the Class 3A State Tournament.

Eli Wiskow, wrestling, finished 3-0 to win the 220-pound bracket at the Section 8-3A Individual Tournament and advance to the Class 3A State Tournament.

Mason Kuepers, boys’ swimming and diving, won the 50- and 100-yard freestyle and helped two relays advance to the Class 2A state meet during the Section 8-2A Finals.

Parker Tatge, boys’ swimming and diving, finished second in the 500-yard freestyle and helped the 200 free relay to state during the Section 8-2A finals.

Wyatt Gabrielson, boys’ swimming and diving, finished fourth in the Section 8-2A diving finals to advance to the Class 2A State Meet.

Johnny Pecarich, boys’ basketball, finished with 25 points and seven rebounds against Fergus Falls, 33 points against Sartell, 18 points against Moorhead and 22 points and six rebounds against St. Michael-Albertville.

Nick Evanson, boys’ basketball, finished with 15 points against Fergus Falls, 12 points and four assists against Sartell, 23 points and seven rebounds against Moorhead and 25 points and nine rebounds against St. Michael-Albertivlle.

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