Anoka, Spring Lake Park records fall at state swim meet

Anoka swam to an 11th place finish out of 45 teams and set six new program records at the Class AA state boys swimming and diving meet Feb. 28- March 1.

Senior Cole Birklid and junior Matt Hedman each broke individual records in addition to two relays rewrite the record book at the biggest meet of the season competed at the University of Minnesota’s Aquatic Center.

Anoka's Matt Hedman takes a breath during the 200 individual medley at the Class AA state meet. Photo by Bill Jones

Anoka’s Matt Hedman takes a breath during the 200 individual medley at the Class AA state meet. Photo by Bill Jones

Tornadoes coach John Jacobson said the goal remains to reach the podium (top 8) in each event and, “we got closer this year.

“It was another strong state meet with lots of great competition. We had a great season and the boys grew in a wonderful racing experience but more importantly as great young men.”

Birklid finished second in the 200 free in a school record time of 1:41.17 with classmate Josh Gerick 22nd. He was 22 one-hundreths off the winning time of Lakeville South’s Mitch Herrera. Birklid placed fifth in the 100 free in an Anoka record time of 46.86 seconds.

Hedman set two programs records including his third place time of 4:36.40 in the 500 free. He was fourth in the 200 individual medley in 1:54.56 for the other school record with sophomore Caleb Birklid improving from last season with a 19th place finish in the event.

The 200 free relay team placed 12th but set a new Anoka best time of 1:28.90 with sophomore Lucas Manke and senior Josh Gerick plus Cole Birklid and Hedman on the final leg.

Spring Lake Park's Davin Sang takes a breath during 200 I.M. race at the Class A state meet. Photo by Bill Jones

Spring Lake Park’s Davin Sang takes a breath during 200 I.M. race at the Class A state meet. Photo by Bill Jones

The Tornadoes 400 free relay team finished the meet on a high note with an 11th place finish but another school record of 3:13.20 with the foursome of Hedman, Gerick, Caleb and Cole Birklid.

Manke led the Tornadoes in the 100 backstroke with a 13th place finish and Caleb Birklid was 23rd. Junior Mike Rosier was less than a second from making the top-16 (finals) in the 100 butterfly but settled for a 25th place finish.

Andover’s 200 medley relay was one of three teams disqualified in the prelims.

Huskies senior Jack Rodman was one spot from qualifying for the 100 back finals in 17th place. His time of 54.82 was 0.32 behind Stillwater eighth-grader Jon Busse for 16th place.

Blaine's Derek Kuecker takes a breath during the Class AA 100 freestyle. Photo by Bill Jones

Blaine’s Derek Kuecker takes a breath during the Class AA 100 freestyle. Photo by Bill Jones

Blaine junior sprinter Derek Kuecker was 18th in the prelims of the 50 free and missed out on a spot in the finals (top 16) by six-hundreths of a second.

The Bengals’ 200 free relay team also missed out on the finals by one-hundreth of a second to Osseo (1:29.61 to 1:29.62).

Panthers, seventh in Class A

Spring Lake Park swam to a program-record seventh-place finish at the Class A state swim meet at the University of Minnesota.

The Panthers opened the meet with a fourth-place finish in the 200 medley relay with the group of sophomore Davin Sang, senior Samuel Roden, junior Mark Malinovskiy and senior Richard Kepner in a school-record time of 1:39.80.

Anoka's Cole Birklid, left, stands on the podium after the Class AA 200 freestyle finals. Photo by Bill Jones

Anoka’s Cole Birklid, left, stands on the podium after the Class AA 200 freestyle finals. Photo by Bill Jones

The 200 free relay team placed 11th with Sang, sophomore Jathan Easter and juniors Jimmy Kepner and Ryan Kepner in 1:31.35.

The Panthers finished state with an eighth place finish in the 400 free relay with the team of Ryan Kepner, Jimmy Kepner, Malinovskiy and Richard Kepner in 3:18.42.

Sophomore diver Mitch Raihle climbed from a rough start in ninth place to finish state in fourth with a final score of 375.85 points, 34.15 points behind BRBL’s Brandon Pearson winning score.

Richard Kepner was third in the 200 free in a personal-best time of 47.54 and 12th in the 200 free in 1:49.99;

Sang was 15th in the 200 individual medley 2:06.79 and 16th in the 100 backstroke in 57.67.

Malinovskiy was 13th in the 100 backstroke in 56.82.

Roden was 14th in the 100 breaststroke in 1:02.09, less than three-tenths out of 12th place.

Seven Panthers on the all-state list is another program-best.

Jason Olson is at
jason.olson@ecm-inc.com

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