Even though she swam an event other than her specialty, Hannah McKeag demonstrated her proficiency as well as her versatility.
The Brainerd freshman paced the 100-yard butterfly, won her specialty (100 backstroke) and helped the 200 medley relay to victory as the Warriors swamped St. Cloud Apollo 105-75 in a Central Lakes Conference meet Thursday night.
“She swam the 100 fly, which is not her normal event, and had a great time, 1:05.62, which is really a fast time,” Warriors coach Dan Anderson said. “That’s easily in our top 20 all-time. Then she swam the back. It wasn’t a great swim for her but she won easily. She led off the medley relay with a nice split and she would have been on the last relay, but we ended up scratching it because of an injury.
“She’s been real solid for us all year. She was sick for a while there, and struggled with her times, but she’s swimming pretty well right now.”
McKeag led off the medley relay, which included Erica Rehnblom, Reilly Peterson and Fallon Ryan, and helped it to a time of 1:57.11.
“It was really exciting because we got to have some fast people,” McKeag said. “Reilly and Fallon usually don’t swim on that relay. It was fun. We were close to the pool record so maybe next year.”
McKeag, a second-year varsity swimmer, normally swims the 50 free, but switched to the butterfly in a meet that was projected as an easy victory for Brainerd.
“It was really different,” she said. “I didn’t know what pace to go, but it was fun. I like switching it up sometimes.”
Next, she returned to her specialty and won the backstroke.
“It’s my favorite event,” McKeag said. “My time was alright. Hopefully, I will do better at True Team and conference. We’ll see.”
McKeag’s wins were among the nine the Warriors secured against the Eagles.
Ryan continued her brilliant season by winning the 200 free and 500 free, in addition to the medley relay.
Other Warrior winners were Lauren Forsythe in the 200 IM, diver Beth Etterman remained unbeaten in eight dual meets, Peterson won the 100 free and Erica Rehnblom won the 100 breaststroke.
Among the other highlights for Brainerd were Lonie Anderson’s runner-up finish in diving with 201.35 points. Etterman scored 213.10.
“Lonie broke 200,” Dan Anderson said. “If you’re a 200-point diver you’re a good diver. We now have two of them.
“Lonie really came through for us down at Melrose Tuesday. She beat a Melrose girl who they didn’t expect her to beat and got second for us. That was s 2-point swing in a 4-point meet (Brainerd won 95-91). She’s been diving very well.”
Forsythe led the IM with a time of 2:30.28.
“Lauren’s an eighth-grader, and she won her first varsity race in the IM,” Dan Anderson said. “She swam a really good race.
“Overall, everyone’s swimming better, and we’re starting to fill in. The pieces are starting to come together. We’re starting to look like a pretty good swim team.”
Brainerd 105, Apollo 75
200 medley relay: 1-Brainerd (Hannah McKeag, Erica Rehnblom, Reilly Peterson, Fallon Ryan) 1:57.11; 3-Brainerd (Lauren Forsythe, Annika Watson, Baylee Bessingpas, Beth Etterman) 2:07.58; 5-Brainerd (Greta Engen, Delaney Kennedy, Abby Rubado, Marina Cruz) 2:34.83
200 free: 1-Ryan 2:11.92, 3-Allison Crum (B) 2:16.08, 6-Annie Grabowski (B) 2:23.62
200 IM: 1-Lauren Forsythe (B) 2:30.28, 3-Rehnblom 2:32.96, 4-Helena Wise (B) 2:45.83
50 free: 1-Kara Bohlen (SCA) 26.62, 2-Peterson 27.0, 3-Alyssa Williams (B) 27.45, 4-Sydney Erickson (B) 27.51
Diving: 1-Etterman 213.10 points, 2-Lonie Anderson (B) 201.35, 4-Sydney Wold (B) 165.40
100 butterfly: 1-McKeag 1:05.62, 2-Erickson 1:08.54, 4-Watson 1:20.89
100 free: 1-Peterson 58.22, 4-Williams 1:00.34, 6-Greta Engen (B) 1:08.35
500 free: 1-Ryan 5:37.76, 4-Crum 6:11.23, 6-Haley Bradford (B) 6:24.39
200 free relay: 1-Apollo 2:17.76, Ex-Brainerd (Rehnblom, Erickson, Williams, Ryan) 1:48.72; Ex-Brainerd (Grabowski, Crum, Watson, Etterman) 1:56.38; Ex-Brainerd (Mia Berry, McKenzie Crawford, Lillian Schmitz, Bradford) 2:15.23
100 backstroke: 1-McKeag 1:04.10, 3-Forsythe 1:07.37, 4-Wise 1:13.21
100 breaststroke: 1-Rehnblom 1:15.13, 3-Watson 1:22.39, 4-Delaney Kennedy (B) 1:26.50
400 free relay: 1-Apollo 4:06.84, 2-Brainerd (Grabowski, Crum, Bessingpas, Erickson) 4:16.63; 5-Brainerd (Engen, Crawford, Elaina Kintop, Hailey Hensel) 5:18.40
MIKE BIALKA, sports editor, may be reached at 855-5861. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bertsballpark.