State swimming prelims recap

The top eight finishers in each event move on to compete in the championship finals while the ninth-16th-place finishers will compete for the consolation round title.

Spring Lake Park took part in the Class A portion of the meet in the first session of the day at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, March 1.

The Panthers 200-yard medley relay team of Leon Ding, Davin Sang, Mark Malinovskiy and Ricahrd Kepner scored an eighth place finish in 1:41.39.

Kepner, a junior, was 0.27 seconds away from the finals of the 200 free after placing ninth in 200 free. He will compete in the 100 free finals after placing eighth in 47.95.

Ryan Kepner placed 26th in the 500 free in 5:13.70.

Sang was 25th in the 200 individual medley in 2:13.41 and 17th in the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.14 and Samuel Roden was 22nd in the event in 1:05.75. Malinowskiy was 24th in the 100 fly. Ding out swam Malinovskiy in the 100 back to finish 21st and 22nd places, respectively.

Sprinter Trevor Mitchell placed 18th in the 50 free in 22.72, 0.19 seconds away from the consolation round.

The Panthers 400 free relay team of Mitchell, Malinovskiy, Richard Kepner and Ryan Kepner placed 10th in 3:21.30.

Spring Lake Park’s 200 free relay team of Mitchell, Sang, Jathen Easter and Ryan Kepner placed 18th in 1:33.16.

Class AA
Two Eden Prairie relay teams set  new all-time records in the opening and closing races of the evening. Eden Prairie’s 200 medley relay in 1:32.18, bettering the previous record set by Minnetonka in 1991 of 1:33.31. The Eden Prairie 400 free relay team swam to a 3:04.10 time, surpassing Edina’s time of 3:04.68 set in 2010.  Andover placed 25th in the 200 medley relay in 1:42.74 with the foursome of Jack Rodman, John Gendreau, Tyler Behnke and Cody Corthell. Anoka’s 400 free relay team of Matt Hedman, Josh Gerick, Caleb Birklid and Cole Birklid placed 14th in 3:17.12.

Anoka sophomore Matt Hedman reached the 200 individual medley finals with a seventh place finish in the prelims in 1:56.72. Brother Nick Hedman, a senior, finished 30th in 2:03.49. Nick Hedman also placed 22nd in the 100 breaststroke in 1:02.03.

Matt Hedman scored a fifth place finish in the 500 free prelims in 4:40.28 while Cole Birklid was sixth in 4:40.82 to qualify for the championship finals.

Anoka junior Cole Birklid placed 11th in the 200 free prelims in 1:44.70 and Gerick was 22nd in the event in 1:47.18. Caleb Birklid was 22nd in 4:51.91.

Blaine senior Austin Bongers scored a 14th place finish in the 50 free in 21.87 seconds and Andover senior Cody Corthell placed 29th in 22.79 seconds. Bongers was 14th in the 100 free in 48.06 and Andover’s Corthell was 30th in 51.13.

Gerick was 25th in the 100 fly in 54.10 seconds and Blaine sophomore Mazen Hammad was 33rd in 55.15.

Rodman scored a 28th place finish in the 100 back in 55.77.

Anoka’s 200 free relay team of Alex Kvidera, Nick Hedman, Matt Hedman and Cole Birklid placed 20th in 1:30.61.

Andover junior diver Ben Arnold scored a 22nd place finish with 130.95 points in the preliminary round at the Class AA state diving competition. He was 1.30 points from a top-20 spot and a place in the semifinal round.
Blaine sophomore diver Trenton Pittman scored 129.60 points and was 23rd in the prelims.

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