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Season opener worth the wait for Alexandria as talented lineup rolls over Sauk Rapids-Rice

The Cardinals won 12 of 14 events and already had a big number of athletes swimming faster times than the state qualifying standards.

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Alexandria's Anthony Hoyt swims the 200 freestyle on Dec. 17, 2021 in the Cardinals' season opener against Sauk Rapids-Rice. Hoyt dominated the event, winning by 13 seconds in 1:50.20 to help Alexandria to an easy team win over the Storm. Lowell Anderson / Alexandria Echo Press

The Alexandria boys swimming and diving team had its season opener delayed one day after bad weather on Thursday, and the Cardinals were eager to get going by the time Sauk Rapids-Rice came to town on Friday.

Alexandria has another talented lineup after finishing second at the Class A state meet last season. The Cardinals won 12 of the 14 events in the opener, beating the Storm 111-74.

“Swimming faster than the state swim meet qualifying times were Nicolas Welle in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly, Carter Holm in the 100 freestyle, Anthony Hoyt in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle, the 200 medley relay team of Eric Peterson, Logan Tung, Nicolas Welle and Erik Reineke, and the 200 freestyle relay team of Nicolas Welle, Logan Tung, Anthony Hoyt, and Carter Holm,” head coach Kathy Walker said. “Pacing the leaders, the underclassmen added much-needed depth to balance the speed at the top of the lineup.”

The winning 200-medley relay team started things in style by going 2.5 seconds faster than the state-qualifying time standard as they won in 1:42.71.

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Alexandria senior Caden Kavanagh dives during the Cardinals' season opener against Sauk Rapids-Rice on Dec. 17, 2021. Kavanagh was second in the meet to Kyler Kavanagh as Kyler finished with 191.55 points, and Caden was close behind with 190.75 points. Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

Hoyt won the 200 freestyle by a dominant 13 seconds in 1:50.20. Welle won the 50 freestyle (21.89) by more than a second. Kyler Kavanagh (191.55 points) won diving, with Caden Kavanagh (190.75) not far behind in second and Keaton Snitker (147.95) in third.

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Alexandria senior Nicolas Welle explodes through the 100 butterfly where he won in a time of 55.05 seconds during the Cardinals' season-opening win over Sauk Rapids-Rice on Dec. 17, 2021. Lowell Anderson / Alexandria Echo Press

Welle won the 100 butterfly (55.05) with sophomore Eric Peterson in second (57.96). Holm took the 100 freestyle (49.08). Peterson won the 100 backstroke (1:00.01), and Logan Tung breezed past the field in the 100 breaststroke (1:05.09). Hoyt led Alexandria in the 500 freestyle with a second-place finish in 4:59.88.

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Alexandria sophomore Eric Peterson swims to a winning time of 1:00.01 in the 100 backstroke during the season opener on Dec. 17, 2021. Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

The 400-freestyle relay team of Erik Reineke, Peterson, Hoyt and Holm finished off a dominant effort with a win in the final event in 3:30.49. That was more than nine seconds faster than the second-place team from Sauk Rapids-Rice.

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Alexandria is at Fergus Falls on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

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Alexandria's Anthony Hoyt swims to a second-place finish in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:59.88 during the Cardinals' win over Sauk Rapids-Rice on Dec. 17, 2021. Lowell Anderson / Alexandria Echo Press

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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