by Jason Olson
Anoka swimming finished 2011 on a high note as they placed third at the Apple Valley Invite Dec. 30.
The Tornadoes scored 1,820 points, 150 points behind runner-up Lakeville South and 522 points behind winner Stillwater.
After being ranked in two events in the state Honor Roll, Anoka sophomore Cole Birklid won the 100 yard freestyle in 49.12 seconds, nearly a half second ahead of Eau Claire’s runner up. Birklid also finished second in the 200 free (1:46.07).
Tornadoes freshman Matt Hedman finished third in the 200 Individual Medley in 2:08.88 and fourth place in the 500 free in 5:02.79 and senior Taylor Dubois placed third in the 100 breaststroke in 1:05.46.
Anoka diver Brent Verke won the one-meter diving competition with score of 345.80 points, more than 25 points clear of second place.
Anoka’s top relays also brought home strong finishes including the team of Alex Kvidera, Travis Weight, Matt Hedman and Birklid placed fifth in the 200 free relay in 1:36.80, Anoka’s 200 medley relay team of Jake Thacker, Dubois, Nick Hedman and Weight also finished fifth in 1:47.90 and the 400 free relay team of Matt Hedman, Josh Gerrick, Jake Thacker and Birklid which placed seventh in 3:32.44.