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Swim and dive: Nicolas Welle breaks two CLC records as Alexandria finishes third at conference meet

Welle beat longtime records held in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly, but Brainerd took the team title ahead of Sartell in second on Saturday.

Nicolas Welle.jpeg
Nicolas Welle

ST. CLOUD — Saturday’s Central Lakes Conference championship swimming and diving meet figured to be a three-team race for the title between Alexandria, Brainerd and Sartell-St. Stephen, and it was Brainerd that won that race at St. Cloud Tech High School on Saturday.

The Warriors finished with 488 team points. That bested Sartell-St. Stephen in second (422) as the Cardinals finished third with 394 points. Alexandria had beaten both Brainerd and Sartell in head-to-head meets earlier this season.

“While Alexandria won six of nine individual events, Brainerd won both relays that Alexandria had beaten them in earlier in the season,” Alexandria head coach Kathy Walker said. “Needing the second, third and fourth swimmers to move up to score points, (we) could not meet the challenge.”

The Cardinals still came home with a bunch of All-CLC honors, led by a record-setting day from senior Nicolas Welle.

Welle set new CLC championship records in the 50 freestyle (previous record set in 2004 by Jason Timmer) and 100 butterfly (record set in 1985 by Cam Olk) as he won both events. Welle’s record time in the 50 free is 21.32, and his new mark in the 100 butterfly is 51.46. That time in the butterfly also beat his own school record.

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Fellow senior Anthony Hoyt also won two CLC titles. His came in the 200 freestyle (1:47.70) and 500 freestyle (4:53.24). Logan Tung added a championship in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.84), and Carter Holm took the title in the 100 freestyle (47.82).

Other All-CLC performances came from the 200-medley relay team of Eric Peterson, Tung, Welle and Holm as they finished second (1:38.45). Tung was third in the 200 IM (2:06.49), Eric Peterson was runner-up in the 100 backstroke (57.86), and Holm added a third-place finish in the 50 freestyle (21.88). The 200 freestyle relay team of Welle, Erik Reineke, Tung and Holm finished second (1:28.91).

Honorable-mention All-CLC performances came from Kyler Kavanagh (diving, 4th, 340.15), Caden Kavanagh (diving, 5th, 336.95), Peterson (100 butterfly, 6th, 58.27), Cooper Running (500 freestyle, 5th, 5:20.67), and the 400 freestyle relay team of Peterson, Running, Reineke and Hoyt (3rd, 3:27.53).

Alexandria now turns its attention to the Section 5A meet. Prelims are set for Feb. 25 before the finals on Feb. 26 at Discovery Middle School pool in Alexandria. The finals start at 2 p.m. on Feb. 26.

CLC CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM SCORES - 1. Brainerd - 488; 2. Sartell - 422; 3. Alexandria - 394; 4. Sauk Rapids-Rice - 292; 5. St. Cloud Apollo - 249; 6. St. Cloud Tech/Cathedral/Rocori - 223; 7. Willmar - 173; 8. Fergus Falls - 60

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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