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Section 5A swim: Cards second as Kallevig, Jacobsons shine

Alexandria's Mark Kallevig swims the breaststroke portion of his 200 IM at the Discovery Middle School pool on Saturday afternoon (Eric Morken/Echo Press)1 / 2
Alexandria's Max Jacobson looks up at his time on the board to see that he won the 50 freestyle on Saturday. (Eric Morken/Echo Press)2 / 2

The Alexandria swimming and diving team finished second at the Section 5A meet and will be represented in seven events at the state meet next week.

Seniors Mark Kallevig and Elliot Jacobson and junior Max Jacobson had a lot to do with that. Kallevig and M. Jacobson will both be swimming in four events at the state meet and E. Jacobson will compete in three.

All three of them were part of the 200-medley relay team that qualified after a runner-up finish with Brandon McCormick in 1:401.09. They also joined Brady Wolkow in qualifying in the 200-freestyle relay with a second-place time of 1:33.19.

Elliot Jacobson beat his own section record in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:00.86. Kallevig dominated the 200 IM in 2:03.59 and also qualified for state in the 100 butterfly with a second-place finish in 55.47 seconds. Max Jacobson won the 50 freestyle in 22.44 seconds and also qualified in the 100 freestyle with a second-place finish in 49.85 seconds.

All three have swam in a lot of events and been workhorses for this team all season, and nothing changed on Saturday in the biggest meet of the year in their home pool.

“It’s really a huge amount of pride,” Max said of being able to pile up points by swimming multiple events. “Just knowing that we are contributing to this team and helping to get as many points on the board as possible. That’s contributed to wins, and it makes everybody feel better when you win, obviously. So to know that we’ve been a part of that is really great.”

Max shocked the rest of the field in the 50 freestyle by shaving more than a second off his seed time. He came into Friday’s prelims as the sixth seed with a time of 23.51. He proved he could be a threat to win the event by swimming a 22.92 in the prelims and took it a step further in the finals with his time of 22.44.

“It’s a combination of training really hard, tapering really hard, shaving down as much hair as I possibly can and wearing a nice suit,” Max said with a smile. “That was really excellent. That was my first individual section win, and it’ just really special. I was really happy because I knew coming into it if I pushed myself hard enough that I could win it, and to be able to fulfill what I knew I could do was great.”

Kallevig was in complete control of the 200 IM and ran away with the win by more than three seconds against Tyler Hemp of Bemidji. His time of 2:03.59 was more than five seconds faster than the 2:08.84 seed time he came into Friday’s prelims with.

“I guess I just decided I was going to go out hard and see what happened,” Kallevig said. “I was really happy when I saw that time because I had no idea I went that fast.”

Dropping time was a reoccurring theme for a lot of the Alexandria swimmers this week. The Cardinals are a young team this season that continued to make strides as the year progressed. They saved their best for last to earn a second-place team trophy.

Melrose-Sauk Centre beat Alexandria at the true team meet and again during a dual earlier this season. The Cardinals avenged that on Saturday, edging them by four points. Fergus Falls won the team title with 390 points, creating a little distance in the end with wins in two of the final three events.

“I feel awesome about it,” E. Jacobson said of that second-place finish. “Last year, I know we got first at this meet, but we lost a ton of great, great seniors. We had a really young team, and it just feels really good that we were able to fill the shoes that we were trying to fill. I think we had a really successful season. We had some extremely good swims this whole meet and it was just a lot of fun to watch everybody improve.”

Elliot’s win in the 100 breaststroke was the second to last event of the meet and helped secure that runner-up finish for the team. He shaved more than two seconds off of his seed with his finals time of 1:00.82. He swam the breaststroke in last year’s state meet, and this year he’s set the goal of swimming it in less than a minute in hopes that that will put him in the top eight.

Kallevig and Max Jacobson both have their two individual events to focus on and the two relays. They joined Elliot and McCormick in shaving off more than six seconds from their seed time in the 200-medley relay. That win came in the first event and set the tone for the kind of day it would be for the Cardinals.

“That was really nice,” Kallevig said. “We had a great time. We dropped about four seconds from yesterday. In one day, that’s a huge time drop. That’s about a second per 50. We were happy, and it just started the whole day off right.”

Those types of time drops will send the Alexandria swimmers into next week feeling like they are swimming their best at the right time of year. The state meet is scheduled to run from February 27 through March 1 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.

See Wednesday’s issue of the Echo Press for more on the Alexandria swimmers who qualified.

TEAM RESULTS – 1. Fergus Falls – 390; 2. Alexandria – 361; 3. Melrose-Sauk Centre – 357; 4. Detroit Lakes – 258; 5. Bemidji – 240; 6. Park Rapids – 237; 7. Perham – 151; 8. Thief River Falls – 105; 9. Morris Area – 58  

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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