Josh McKeag, Sam Dellacecca and seven other Brainerd Warriors qualified in eight events for the Class 2A state meet after standing out in the Section 8-2A finals Saturday night at Elk River High School.
McKeag qualified in two individual events and two relays. Dellacecca advanced in one individual event and two relays.
The Warriors secured five runner-up finishes, diver Seth Murrey finished in the top four and Brainerd qualified in two events by time standard.
Runners-up included Justin Warling in the 50 free, McKeag in the butterfly, and Dellacecca in the 100 free.
The 200 medley relay of Luke Jacobsen, Joe Wells, McKeag and Warling was second. The 400 free relay of Justin Kuglin, Tyler Schneider, Dellacecca and McKeag also was second.
Murrey scored 322.60 points in diving to finish third.
The 200 free relay of Kuglin, Dellacecca, Warling and Chase Wickman qualified for state by time standard, as did McKeag in the backstroke at 55.09.
“We had a fantastic section meet from every single member on the team,” Warriors head coach John Zemke said. “The guys were mentally ready to go from the first race in prelims to the last relay in the finals and truly performed like they were capable of performing.
“We spend a lot of time on mental preparation during the final two weeks of the season and the guys, as they always do, really buy into what we are trying to get across to them.
“We cashed out the bank this weekend. All season long you save and save and when it was time to make a withdrawal we certainly had a lot there.”
McKeag swam the fastest 100 fly in school history during prelims, and the third-fastest 100 backstroke in school history during finals.
The 400 free relay swam the third-fastest time in school history.
“One of the many highlights, and certainly an unexpected one, was the 200 free relay,” Zemke said. “We swam it shotgun (fastest to slowest). Chase Wickman anchored it in grand fashion, literally going a second faster than he ever had before and we made the state cut by 1/10th of a second. I was very proud of the way that relay performed in finals.”
• It was the first time in six years Brainerd finished second in the section.
• Brainerd won the academic section championship with a team grade-point average of 3.61.
• The Warriors’ Carl Schirmer was selected assistant coach of the year.
• Brainerd recorded 21 season-best swims during the finals.
• The Warriors dropped a total of 149.87 seconds of time from seed times though finals.
Team scores: 1-Maple Grove 544, 2-Brainerd 410, 3-St. Michael-Albertville 325, 4-Elk River 218.5, 5-St. Cloud Tech 199, 6-Buffalo 166.5, 7-Moorhead 108, 8-Rogers 52
200 medley relay: 1-Maple Grove 1:38.88, 2-Brainerd (Luke Jacobsen, Joe Wells, Josh McKeag, Justin Warling) 1:40.59
200 freestyle: 1-Michael Wegerson (MG) 1:45.11, 4-Sam Dellacecca (B) 1:49.29, 6-Nick Goll (B) 1:50.41, 7-Tyler Schneider (B) 1:50.61, 11-Adam Warren (B) 1:55.10
200 individual medley: 1-Mike Lanz (MG) 1:57.65, 6-Justin Kuglin (B) 2:06.12, 11-Peder Smith (B) 2:11.01, 12-Matt Majerle (B) 2:11.73, 13-Trent Anderson (B) 2:13.01
50 freestyle: 1-Noah Dalluge (StMA) 22.26, 2-Warling 22.73, 12-Jacobsen 23.96, 14-Chase Wickman (B) 24.18
Diving: 1-Wyatt Johnson (Moor) 352.55, 3-Seth Murrey (B) 322.60, 10-Peter Wells (B) 276.80, 15-Noah Jacobs (B) 233.55
100 butterfly: 1-Lanz 50.66, 2-McKeag 53.48, 9-Chase Wickman 58.58, 11-Joey Stromberg (B) 58.81, 14-Joe Wells 1:00.93
100 freestyle: 1-Sean Wegerson (MG) 48.23, 2-Dellacecca 48.49, 6-Kuglin 49.38, 13-Warren 52.13, 15-David Supinski (B) 52.58
500 freestyle: 1-Matt Strauss (MG) 4:57.97, 4-Goll 5:03.36, 7-Andrew Solseth (B) 5:12.70, 9-Schneider 5:10.86, 11-Smith 5:15.10
200 freestyle relay – 1-Maple Grove 1:28.42, 3-Brainerd (Kuglin, Dellacecca, Warling, Chase Wickman) 1:31.07
100 backstroke: 1-Sean Wegerson 52.74, 4-McKeag 55.09, 8-Jacobsen 57.97, 10-Supinski 59.27, 11-Majerle 59.53
100 breaststroke: 1-Kirk Youngdahl (MG) 1:00.74, 6-Joe Wells 1:03.73, 7-Anderson 1:05.42, 9-Solseth 1:05.34
400 freestyle relay: 1-Maple Grove 3:10.97, 2-Brainerd (Kuglin, Schneider, Dellacecca, McKeag) 3:16.61
Next: Class 2A diving prelims 6 p.m. Thursday, swimming prelims 6 p.m. Friday, finals 6 p.m. Saturday, University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.