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Alexandria takes fourth at CLC swim meet

Hannah Eklund swims the 100-yard breaststroke during the Central Lakes Conference championship meet on Saturday afternoon. Eklund finished fourth in the event to earn honorable mention All-CLC honors. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

The Alexandria girls’ swimming and diving team finished in fourth place at the Central Lakes Conference championship meet Saturday in a competition that was dominated by Sartell-St. Stephen and Brainerd.

The Cardinals finished with a total of 252 team points, which was only 34.5 points behind third place Willmar in the CLC championships held at the Discovery Middle School pool. Sartell-St. Stephen won the meet with 481 team points while Brainerd finished in second with 472.5 points.

The Cardinals knew the top two places in the CLC would be hard to capture, so they set their sights on competing for third place in the nine-team meet.

“Sartell, they are the runners-up for state last year and Brainerd is a double-A team, they’re big and traditionally strong,” head coach Mark Storhaug said. “Our sights were on third, and we had a good little battle with Willmar and just came out a little behind them.”

Madalyn Winger, All ConferenceThe Cardinals were led by Madalyn Winger, who earned the only all-conference award with a third place finish in the 500-yard freestyle with a finals time of 5:45.20. Alexandria also had two individuals who earned honorable-mention honors in the CLC. Megan Bristow finished just behind Winger in fourth place in the 500-yard freestyle with a finals time of 5:52.61 and Hannah Eklund finished in fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke with a finals time of 1:12.66.

The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Kate LeBrasseur, Jaylen Olson-Rodel, Bristow and Winger also finished in fourth place at the meet with a finals time of 3:57.96.

Winger said she was happy with her all-conference award after the meet and was already looking ahead to the section competition in two weeks.

“I’m glad I got that, but we’re still looking forward to the section meet,” she said.

The Cardinals swam for 14 personal bests at the meet, which helped them finish in the top half of the CLC field.

“I think everybody dropped a lot of time, and most people swam really well,” Winger said.

The CLC championship meet marks what Storhaug referred to as the beginning of the “taper” portion of the season, or the final two weeks of practice that prepare swimmers for section competition. The Cardinals are expecting a tough field at the Section 6A meet. They will once again have to face Sartell-St. Stephen, and Melrose is another team that finished near the top at the state tournament last season.

“It’s going to be a dogfight for who goes to state,” Storhaug said. “If we get one or two people in, that would be great.”

CLC CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS

TEAM RESULTS

1. SARTELL-ST. STEPHEN, 481; 2. BRAINERD, 472.5; 3. WILLMAR – 286.5; 4. ALEXANDRIA 252; 5. ST. CLOUD TECH – 215; 6. FERGUS FALLS – 186; 7. SAUK RAPIDS-RICE – 173.5; 8. ROCORI – 147; ST. CLOUD APOLLO – 111.5

ALEXANDRIA SCORERS – 200-YARD MEDLEY RELAY – LeBrasseur, Eklund, Meece, Moe – ninth place, 2:03.42; Serum, Ealy, Wallerich, Kremer – 15th place, 2:10.33

200-YARD FREESTYLE – Bristow – sixth place, 2:08.37; Winger – ninth place, 2:09.51

200-YARD INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY – Eklund – sixth place, 2:23.45; Meece – 12th place, 2:31.94

50-YARD FREESTYLE – Olson-Rodel, 26.69

DIVING – Kremer – 13th place, 250.95

100-YARD BUTTERFLY – LeBrasseur – seventh place, 1:05.80; 16th place – Wallerich, 1:12.03

100-YARD FREESTYLE – Olson-Rodel – eighth place, 59.39

500-YARD FREESTYLE – Winger – third place, 5:45.20; Bristow – fourth place, 5:52.61; Meece – eighth place, 5:57.31; 15th place – Lindgren, 6:06.38

200-YARD FREESTYLE RELAY – Hatlestad, Olson-Rodel, Bristow, Winger – sixth place, 1:47.70; Moe, Eklund, Johnson, Kremer – 16th place, 1:56.06

100-YARD BACKSTROKE – LeBrasseur – 10th place, 1:07.38; Serum – 13th place, 1:09.11

100-YARD BREASTSTROKE – Eklund – fourth place, 1:12.66; Lindgren – ninth place, 1:17.39

400-YARD FREESTYLE RELAY – LeBrasseur, Olson-Rodel, Bristow, Winger – fourth place, 3:57.96; Serum, Hatlestad, Lindgren, Kremer – 11th place, 4:13.07

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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