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Records fall as Alexandria rolls to a Section 6A championship in Morris

The Cardinals will send a big contingent to the Class A state meet after a section championship that included two new school records set and Coach of the Year honors for Crysta Krause and Aaron Rooney.

The Alexandria girls swimming and diving team had one last statement to make on Saturday afternoon at the University of Minnesota Morris, and the Cardinals certainly made it in winning the Section 6A championship.

This team has passed every test in its way this fall. Perfect dual record. Central Lakes Conference championship. Section title. Now a big group of athletes will set their sights on one last goal of finishing as high as they can at the Class A state meet this next week.

“The girls really rose to the challenge at the section meet,” Alexandria head coach Crysta Krause said. “They were not only able to go out to the early lead and find success, but were coming from behind in races to move up a place in the standings or to claim a spot at the state meet.”

It is the first section championship for the Alexandria girls since 1995. The Cardinals finished with 444 team points. Rocori was a distant second at 390.5, and Melrose Area rounded out the top three with 339 points. Morris-Minnewaska was seventh in the 9-team field with 88 points.

Alexandria had a total of nine individual qualifiers for the Class A state meet and two more relays. That included the 200-freestyle relay foursome of Jisella Haskamp, Brooklyn Millward, Grace Urke and Hattie Galloway, who set a new school record in winning that event in 1:39.57, more than two seconds faster than their prelims time. The previous school record was 1:40.54 set in 1995.

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It was one of two school records set for Alexandria on Saturday. Jisella Haskamp set the other in the 100 breaststroke as she took second and qualified for state in a time of 1:06.77. Melrose Area’s Hallie Drossel won in 1:05.46. The previous school record for Alexandria was 1:07.58 set in 2019.

In addition to Haskamp’s state-qualifying time in the breaststroke, the sophomore also qualified for state in the 50 freestyle by winning in 24.42. That was just in front of Galloway, who also qualified for state in the event with a second-place finish (24.46). Galloway added to her big day with a state-qualifying time in the 100 freestyle by winning in 53.68.

The Alexandria 400-freestyle relay team of Millward, Alaina Guenther, Haskamp and Galloway met the state-qualifying time standard and took third in 3:43.37.

The Cardinals’ other individual state qualifiers are Millward (200 freestyle, 1st place, 2:00.20), Urke (200 IM, second place, 2:14.65), Erica Johnson (diving, second place, 348.55), Lauren Hornstein (diving, fourth place, 336.80) and Summer Overland (500 freestyle, second place, 5:27.19).

Krause and Aaron Rooney have helped lead this group to big things all season, and both were recognized for that from the section. Krause earned the Section 6A Coach of the Year Award, and Rooney earned the Diving Coach of the Year Award.

“As coaches, we couldn't be more proud of the hard work they've put in this season and the team effort it takes to win a section championship,” Krause said.

The big contingent of Alexandria athletes heading to the state meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center will compete over the course of three days this coming week. Class A diving prelims are set for Thursday at noon. Swimming prelims are at that same time on Friday before the Class A swimming and diving finals on Saturday at noon.

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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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