Tornadoes, Huskies battle it out for second in Section 7AA true team
Forest Lake will represent Section 7AA at the Class AA state swimming and diving true team meet after edging Anoka by 101 points for the section title Jan. 23.
The section meet, hosted by Coon Rapids at Northdale Middle School, is formatted to give points based on the depth of a team instead of basing success on the fastest individual in each meet.
Anoka won eight of the 12 events, but the depth of the Rangers more than made up the points difference.
Anoka senior Caleb Birklid won the 200-yard free in 1:46.87 and 500 free in 5:00.99. Junior Jacob Hedman won the 200 Individual Medley in 2:01.58 and 100 backstroke in 54.61.
Senior Lucas Manke won the 100 breaststroke in 1:02.73 and 100 butterfly in 55.68. The three combined with freshman Hunter Way to win the 200 medley in 1:41.42. Way was runner-up in the 50 free in 23.35 and third place in the one-meter dive with 359.70 points, 60 points ahead of classmate Luke Backowski. Anoka’s 400 free relay of Birklid, David Clossey, Manke and Hedman was second to Forest Lake in 3:19.21.
Andover’s depth challenged the Tornadoes for second place as they started the meet with two teams among the top five times to garner 100 points. The A relay of Owen Patrick, Matt Kemp, Hosam El-Hammamy and Lucas Tiede was third in 1:47.84 and the B relay of Carter Crawford, Asher McPherson, Grant Rupkalvis and Austin Crawford was fifth in 1:50.06. The other two relays brought the Huskies total from the opening event to 164 points to lead Anoka by 22 points.
Anoka had three swimmers among the top eight in the 200 free with Clossey in third place and Brian Cosgrove in eighth place.
Andover had three swimmers among the top 12 times in the 200 I.M. led by El-Hammamy in third place, Ryley Bednarczyk in fifth place and Dane Hall in 12th place.
Perhaps the most dominant Huskies event came in the 100 fly as El-Hammamy finished second in 59.24, 0.19 ahead of Forest Lake’s Ethan Herzog. Rupkalvis, Bednarczyk and Aaron Mickelborough garnered fourth through sixth places, respectively and were separated by less than two seconds to add 99 points to the team total.
Led by Birklid’s five-second win in the 500 free, Anoka added team points with Cosgrove in fifth place and Teddy Sabin in seventh place while Andover had two swimmers among the top six spots in Austin Crawford’s third place time and Mason Smisek’s sixth place time.
In the 100 back and breaststroke, Andover had three swimmers in the top nine places in each event. In the 100 back it was Carter Crawford sixth, Patrick seventh and Mickelborough ninth while in the breaststroke it was Kemp in fourth, MacPherson sixth and Hall ninth.
In the 200 free relay, Anoka’s four relays placed among the top 15 times to pick up 150 points while Andover added 112 points.
Panthers third in 5AA
Spring Lake Park’s move to Class AA showed they can compete with some of the best swimmers and divers in the state in a loaded section, won by perennial powerhouse Wayzata.
The Trojans won the title with 1,606.5 points followed by fellow Northwest Suburban Conference team, Robbinsdale Armstrong runner-up with 1,329 points and the Panthers were third with 1,161.5 points.
Senior diver Mitch Raihle continued to shine by posting a one-meter diving winning total of 521.10 points, 150 points ahead of runner-up, Wayzata’s Nick Benson with Panthers sophomore Bailey Kwong third place with 332.20 points.
On the swimming side, Spring Lake Park Davin Sang was third in the 100 breaststroke in 1:06.00 and Joe Priviratsky was fifth in 1:06.69.
Junior Nick Grivina was fifth in the 100 fly with Dang sixth and senior Ben Panasuk 10th.