Swim and Dive: Cardinals end home slate strong

The Alexandria boys took first place in 11 out of 12 events in what was a big win over Section 5A foe Melrose-Sauk Centre on senior night and parent appreciation night.

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Alexandria's Ethan Mellgren swims in the 100 butterfly during a meet on Jan. 31, 2023. Alexandria won the meet over Melrose-Sauk Centre 110-76.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

ALEXANDRIA - The Alexandria boys swimming and diving team knew it had a tough opponent in a home meet on Tuesday as it hosted the Melrose-Sauk Centre Fusion.

Alexandria bested Melrose-Sauk Centre in this season and last season's section true team meet.

The Cardinals once again got the better of the Fusion as they earned a 110-76 win on senior night and parent appreciation night.

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Alexandria senior Logan Tung swims to a first place finish in the 200 IM in a meet against Melrose-Sauk Centre on Jan. 31, 2023. Tung was a part of four wins on senior night.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

"It's good closure," Alexandria senior Logan Tung said about Tuesday's win. "I think it's special because this was our last time competing here. We wanted this to be a win, and we got it."

"This is how we want to leave here as seniors," Alexandria senior Erik Reineke said. "We've been swimming in this pool since, like, third grade."


Alexandria won first place in 11 out of 12 events on Tuesday, as Melrose-Sauk Centre's lone win came in the 100 backstroke.

"They swam well tonight, and many of them had season bests," Alexandria head swimming coach Kathy Walker said. "I wish they would have been like this last week, but we're getting off some sick kids and stuff."

Among the bests on the night for Alexandria were lifetime bests by Adison Newman in the 100 butterfly (1:00.66) and the 50 freestyle (25.11) and a season best by Tung in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.42).

Camden Kosters and Cayden Abell posted lifetime bests in the 100 freestyle (Kosters - 1:21.29; Abell - 1:02.89), while Sam Kalina did so in the 100 breaststroke (1.22.20).

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Alexandria's Cayden Abell swims in the 100 backstroke during a meet against Melrose-Sauk Centre on Jan. 31, 2023. Alexandria won the meet 110-76.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Walker said that there's a friendly rivalry between Alexandria and Melrose-Sauk Centre.

"Some Melrose kids swim for a club with these kids, and I respect and trust the coaches (Melrose-Sauk Centre) because they're friends of mine," Walker said. "The boys support each other, and they get fired up to swim against us. We didn't know if we would win this, but we prepared our kids for close races, and they responded well."

In the relays, Tung, Eric Peterson, Adison Newman, and Cooper Running began the night with a bang by winning the 200 medley.

Newman, Tung, Erik Reineke, and Andrew Crowser teamed up to win the 200 freestyle relay, while Crowser, Reineke, Running, and Peterson capped off the night with a win in the 400 freestyle relay.


Reineke and Tung racked up some individual wins as well. Reineke took first place in the 50 (23.15) and 100 freestyle (50.70).

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Alexandria senior Erik Reineke swims a leg of the 400 freestyle relay, which was one of four wins that Reineke was a part of in a meet against Sauk Centre-Melrose on Jan. 31, 2023.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

"I'm happy with my individual 100 free because I knew that it was going to be the hardest race for me," Reineke said. "I was staring the guy down during the first 50, then in the second 50, I was able to pull away, and it's a great way for me to go out."

Reineke is one of two Alexandria student-athletes who recently received the AAA honor, an award given to seniors who participate in sports, fine arts activities and have a GPA of 3.00 or higher. Brynn Kosters, who has played for the girls basketball team, along with competing for the girls cross country and track and field, was recognized at Tuesday’s meet for receiving the honor.

Tung won first place in the 200 IM (2:04.91) and the 100 breaststroke (1:01.42) on Tuesday.

"I'm happy with both my individual races," Tung said. "I threw down state times and dropped some seconds off my times."

These top finishes went along with first place finishes from Cooper Running (200 and 500 freestyle), Kyler Kavanagh (1-Meter Dive), and Peterson (100 butterfly).

Alexandria had three top-four finishes on the diving board along with Kavanagh's first place finish, Krew Muscha placed third, and Jackson Bertram earned fourth.

Tung and Reineke are the only seniors on a very young Alexandria team.


"It's been fun watching them grow," Reineke said. "I was at that point where I was looking up at all these other guys before me, and now I'm excited that I can share my wisdom with these young guys."

"It makes me happy to see how far they've come from the beginning of the season, and it's just really good to see," Tung said.

To end their high school swimming careers, both Reineke and Tung want to go out strong but also to keep things light and enjoy the moment.

"One of my goals is just to have fun and soak it all up," Reineke said. "Hopefully, I'll drop some times that I'll remember for the rest of my life."

"I also want to soak it all up, and I'm looking forward to the section and, hopefully, the state meet," Tung said. "I'll hopefully get top eight in my events and score big with the team."

Tung and Reineke have been two of the many pieces that have helped Alexandria place second in the last two Class A state meets.

Walker is thankful for what Reineke and Tung have done for the program in their tenure.

"Erik and Logan are going to leave big holes," Walker said. "We're going to miss them terribly because they've been such wonderful leaders for our kids. They mentor a lot of our kids and are there for them when they're having a rough night. So we're going to miss them. So I wish them the very best as they graduate."


Alexandria's last regular season meet against just one team is on Thursday at St. Cloud Apollo at 6 p.m.

The Cardinals compete in the Central Lakes Conference meet on Feb. 11 at Sauk Rapids-Rice at 10 a.m., followed by the Section 5A Meet on Feb. 24 and 25 in Morris.

Alexandria 110; Melrose-Sauk Centre 76

ALEXANDRIA TOP-FIVE FINISHES - 200 MEDLEY RELAY - Eric Peterson, Logan Tung, Adison Newman, Cooper Running, 1st, 1:45.16; Keaton Dummer, Andy Wacek, Luke Christenson, Zachary Iverson, 3rd, 1:59.88; Lucas Bakker, Camden Kosters, Ethan Mellgren, Cayden Abell, 5th, x2:08.64; 200 FREESTYLE - Cooper Running, 1st, 1:58.44; Luke Christenson, 4th, 2:10.89; Andrew Crowser, 5th, 2:11.49; 200 IM - Logan Tung, 1st, 2:04.91; Andy Wacek, 4th, 2:26.90; 50 FREESTYLE - Erik Reineke, 1st, 23.15; Adison Newman, 2nd, 25.11; Gavin Peterson, 4th, 25.86; 1-METER DIVE - Kyler Kavanagh, 1st, 262.95; Krew Muscha, 3rd, 168.60; Jackson Bertram, 4th, 152.25; 100 BUTTERFLY - Eric Peterson, 1st, 55.67; Adison Newman, 3rd, 1:00.66; Ethan Mellgren, 5th; 100 FREESTYLE - Erik Reineke, 1st, 50.70; Andrew Crowser, 4th, 57.15; Gavin Peterson, 5th, 59.00; 500 FREESTYLE - Cooper Running, 1st, 5:17.11; Luke Christenson, 3rd, 5:59.03; Keaton Dummer, 5th, 6:14.25; 200 FREESTYLE RELAY - Andrew Crowser, Adison Newman, Erik Reineke, Logan Tung, 1st, 1:36.87; 100 BACKSTROKE - Eric Peterson, 2nd, 57.54; Lucas Bakker, 4th, 1:09.82; Cayden Abell, 5th, 1:10.90; 100 BREASTSTROKE - Logan Tung, 1st, 1:01.42; Andy Wacek, 4th, 1:13.69; 400 FREESTYLE RELAY Andrew Crowser, Erik Reineke, Cooper Running, Eric Peterson, 1st, 3:32.20; Carson Bumgarner, Lucas Bakker, Luke Christenson, Gavin Peterson, 4th, 4:15.56

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
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