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Section 5A swimming and diving: Cardinal boys are champs

The Cardinals boys' swimming and diving team captured the Section 5A team title Saturday and will be sending 10 athletes to the State Class A meet. Members of the team include (back, left to right) Kyle Pietrowski, Chad Blank, Riley Maanum, Max Jacobson, Brandon McCormick, Elliot Jacobson, Ben Tollefson, Mark Kallevig, Preston ?Bowden, Jackson Grove, Henri Santelman, Brady Wolkow, (front) Zac Bartolomeo, Kris Aaseng, Eric Moe, Kyle Blank, Jake Strand, Aaron Pietrowski, Sean Norheim, Gage Winger, Jordan W...

The Alexandria swimmers have gotten better as the season has gone along, and saved their best for the most important meet of the season, capturing a section title for the first time since 2006.

The Cards outswam everyone in the Section 5A championships in Bemidji Saturday, and earned State Class A berths for 10 individuals along the way and will be represented at state in all 11 races.

"After taking third in the opening relay, the Cardinals grabbed the lead after the second event of the day - the 200 freestyle - and never relinquished the top spot," said head coach Mark Storhaug. "Fergus Falls closed to within 10 points at the midway point, but the Cardinals countered with 57 points in the 500 free and never looked back from there."

Among those advancing will be senior Kris Aaseng, who will be making his third straight appearance at the Aquatic Center as he won the 200 and 500 free races.

He swam the 200 free in 1:47.24 Saturday and the 500 free in 4:48.50, setting a new Bemidji High School pool record in the latter.

Aaseng was eighth last year in the 200 free, and finished fourth in the 500 free. He competed in the 200 free in 2011 in Class AA, finishing 22nd.

Another of the Cardinals' first place finishes went to Elliot Jacobson in the 100 breaststroke in 1:02.02. Jacobson will be making his second state appearance after reaching the Class A event last year in the 100 breaststroke.

Jacobson is also part of the 200 medley relay that advanced. He will share the water with teammates Zac Bartolomeo, Mark Kallevig and Sean Norheim for that event.

Eric Moe, Kyle Blank, Max Jacobson and Aaseng also won the 200 free relay in 1:32.23, while the 400 free relay of Moe, Jake Strand, M. Jacobson and Aaseng were third in 3:24.80 to earn a state berth.

Moe will also compete in the 50 and 100 freestyle events after finishing third in both events. This will be Moe's third trip to state after he competed with the 400 free relay last year and the 200 free in 2010.

M. Jacobson will compete in the 200 free along with his 200 and 400 free relay appearances, while Kallevig earned individual spots in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly, Aaron Pietrowski will swim in the 500 free and Bartolomeo will also compete in the 100 back.

Those strong finishes at the section meet produced 19 top-eight finishes and 31 season bests in 35 tries, including significant drops from M. Jacobson, A. Pietrowski, E. Jacobson, Ben Tollefson, K. Pietrowski and Chad Blank.

"We were definitely the best second day team there," said Storhaug. "After the prelims on Friday, we shaved off 39 seconds from our seed times. That may seem like a lot, but on day two, we sliced another 49 seconds off, totaling 88 seconds for the weekend. That made for a very exciting finals and just added so much to the thrill of winning the meet."

The Class A swimming preliminaries will begin at noon on Friday, with the finals beginning at noon on Saturday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.



TEAM SCORES - 1. Alexandria 450.5, 2. Fergus Falls 360, 3. Park Rapids 313, 4. Bemidji 279, 5. Detroit Lakes 276.5, 6. Perham 194, 7. Thief River Falls 132, 8. Morris 21.


200 MEDLEY RELAY - 3. Zac Bartolomeo, Elliot Jacobson, Mark Kallevig, Sean Norheim 1:44.24.

200 FREE - 1. Kris Aaseng 1:47.24, 2. Max Jacobson 1:50.12, 6. Aaron Pietrowski 1:53.14. CONSOLATION FINALS - 10. Ben Tollefson 2:01.69.

200 IM - 3. Mark Kallevig 2:09.22, 6. Zac Bartolomeo 2:11.37, 7. Elliot Jacobson 2:12.57, 8. Kyle Pietrowski 2:02.66.

50 FREE - 3. Eric Moe 23.11. CONSOLATION FINALS - 11. Kyle Blank 23.94, 13. Sean Norheim 24.57, 14. Jordan Wallin 24.91.

DIVING - 8. Brady Wolkow 263.60, 13. Preston Bowden 215.30, 16. Jackson Grove 202.70.

100 FLY - 3. Mark Kallevig 57.54. CONSOLATION FINALS - 10. Sean Norheim 1:03.35.

100 FREE - 3. Eric Moe 50.47, 4. Max Jacobson 51.14. CONSOLATION FINALS - 13. Jake Strand 55.09, 15. Brandon McCormick 55.80.

500 FREE - 1. Kris Aaseng 4:48.50 (pool record), 3. Aaron Pietrowski 5:02.62, 5. Kyle Pietrowski 5:23.37. CONSOLATION FINALS - 10. Ben Tollefson 5:31.87.

200 FREE RELAY - 1. Eric Moe, Kyle Blank, Max Jacobson, Kris Aaseng 1:32.23.

100 BACK - 3. Zac Bartolomeo 58.09, 6. Brandon McCormick 1:003.0. CONSOLATION FINALS - 11. Jake Strand 1:04.55.

100 BREAST - 1. Elliot Jacobson 1:02.02, 6. Kyle Blank 1:07.13. CONSOLATION FINALS - 12. Chad Blank 1:14.48, 14. Gage Winger 1:16.48.

400 FREE RELAY - 3. Eric Moe, Jake Strand, Max Jacobson, Kris Aaseng 3:24.80.

Kris Aaseng won the 200 and 500 free, setting a new Bemidji pool record in the 500 and earning Swimmer of the Meet honors

Elliot Jacobson won the 100 breaststroke, while Eric Moe, Kyle Blank, Max Jacobson and Aaseng won the 200 free relay

Also advancing with top three finishes were M. Jacobson in the 200 free, Mark Kallevig in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly, Moe in the 50 and 100 free, Aaron Pietrowski in the 500 free, Zac Bartolomeo in the 100 back, Elliot Jacobson in the 100 breaststroke, Bartolomeo, E. Jacobson, Kallevig and Sean Norheim in the 200 medley relay and Moe, Jake Strand, M. Jacobson and Aaseng in the 400 free relay

The Cardinals were also named the Section 5A Academic champions with a team grade point average of 3.59