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Card swimming and diving: Team awards athletes

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Kris Aaseng was selected as the Cardinal boys' swimming and diving most valuable athlete as the team celebrated its successes at the annual awards banquet recently.

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Aaseng, a junior, set new records during True Team and Central Lakes Conference championship meets, advanced to the State Class A meet this season, where he finished fourth in the 500 free as well as All-State honors.

Jake Strand was named the team's hardest worker, while Aaron Pietrowski received the coach's award and Kyle Pietrowski was named the most improved swimmer.

Strand was one of the Cardinal letter winners this year, scoring a total of 37.5 points as he helped his team in their 2012 efforts.

A. Pietrowski pushed through at the section meet to earn a third place finish in the 500 free in a time that qualified him to move on to the state meet, while K. Pietrowski was a letter winner for the Redbirds, earning 60.35 points in the 2012 season.

Alexandria will lose five seniors to graduation in Spencer Brand, Zach Cahlin, Jesse Hacker, Austin McCulluch and Jon Vinje, but will return a solid core of athletes that head coach Mark Storhaug feels will have huge potential.

"[If] the boys need a good reason to train/work out in the off-season, here it is," he said. "The team has a great chance at winning the section meet next year, as Alexandria loses the least to graduation.

"We are not going to win that meet unless we improve on overall body strength between now and next December to have a shot," he added. "District 206 has a good summer strength program and the Alex Swim Club can provide opportunities for improvements in stroke technique and conditioning."

The Cardinals finished with a 6-3 dual meet record and a second place finish in the Maroon and Gold Invitational's Tiger Division, as well as capturing the championship in the Section 5A True Team meet.

The team finished fourth overall in the final CLC standings and was third in the Section 3A meet.

2011-12 ALEXANDRIA SWIMMING AND DIVING SEASON RESULTS

LETTER WINNERS - Spencer Brand, Zach Cahlin, Jesse Hacker, Austin McCulloch, John Vinje, Kris Aaseng, Zac Bartolomeo, Kyle Blank, Eric Moe, Sean Norheim, Aaron Pietrowski, Jake Strand, Jordan Wallin, Gage Winger, Elliot Jacobson, Mark Kallevig, Riley Maanum, Paul Meland, Ben Tollefson, Max Jacobson, Kyle Pietrowski.

CAPTAINS - Jesse Hacker, Austin McCulloch, John Vinje.

ALL-CENTRAL LAKES CONFERENCE - Kris Aaseng, Elliot Jacobson. HONORABLE MENTION - Eric Moe, Mark Kallevig.

ALL-STATE - Kris Aaseng.

ACADEMIC ALL-CLC - Spencer Brand, Jesse Hacker, Austin McCulloch, John Vinje.

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