In their final home dual meet of the season, the Brainerd Warriors put on a show for a complimentary parents night crowd.
The Warriors won nine events on their way to a 109-71 submerging of the Sauk Rapids-Rice Storm and finished a dual-meet season unbeaten (8-0) for the first time since 2008-09.
“We’re really happy about that, going undefeated in the conference this year,” senior co-captain Luke Jacobsen said. “Sartell was a really hard meet, Tech and Alexandria were also. That wasn’t something we were for sure expecting going into the season.”
The Warriors dealt Class 1A’s second-ranked Sartell Sabres their only defeat of the season, 109-79 Jan. 3 at Brainerd.
“We just had fortunate timing,” Warriors coach john Zemke said. “Sartell was our closest meet. When they came up here, we were having a good night. Fortunately for us, unfortunately for them, they had a kid out that would have made the meet a lot closer.
“To be 8-0 is fantastic. It seems like there’s always somebody in the conference that’s just a little bit better, but this year we were able to come out on top. We’ve just got to get better before this weekend and the conference meet.”
Jacobsen was one of four seniors making their final appearance in the Brainerd High School pool. Josh McKeag, Trever Vukelich and Jed Smith were the other seniors.
“It’s a little bit sad,” Jacobsen said, “but the season’s not over yet. We still have conference, sections and hopefully state.
“It’s been great. I’ve swam with Josh since I was 7 years old, Trevor since eighth grade. Jed was new this year. He kind of surprised me on the first day, but he was fun.”
Zemke paid his seniors compliments for their behavior and their contributions to the program.
“Jed wanted to get better for triathlon class,” Zemke said. “He was a great kid to have around the team. Trever has been here since seventh grade. He really represented our team well, swimming the 200 and the 500.
“Luke and Josh came thru the Y system. They really have been great leaders. I’m just so proud of what they’ve done for our program, and how they represented our team, around the high school and the community. They’re some great kids.”
Peder Smith was a double winner for the Warriors, pacing the 200 individual medley and 500 free. Other individual wins were by Nick Goll in the 200 free, Justin Kuglin in the 50 free, McKeag in the 100 butterfly, David Supinski in the 100 free, and Preston Owen in the 100 backstroke.
The 200 medley relay of Supinski, Joe Wells, McKeag and Jacobsen was victorious, along with the 200 free relay of Jacobsen, McKeag, Goll and Kuglin.
Brainerd 109, Sauk Rapids 71
200 medley relay: 1-Brainerd (David Supinski, Joe Wells, Josh McKeag, Luke Jacobsen) 1:45.66; 3-Brainerd (Peder Smith, Matt Majerle, Joey Stromberg, Gus Askegaard) 1:52.11
200 freestyle: 1-Nick Goll (B) 1:57.60, 2-Matt Wright (B) 2:02.75, 3-Trever Vukelich (B) 2:03.73
200 individual medley: 1-Smith 2:14.98, 2-Stromberg 2:24.84, 3-Wells 2:26.40
50 freestyle: 1-Justin Kuglin (B) 23.26, 2-Supinski 24.05, 3-Jacobsen 24.27
Diving: 1-Matt Bethke (SR) 190.05, 4-Robert Young (B) 110.30
100 butterfly: 1-McKeag 55.36, 2-Kuglin 57.31, 3-Jacobsen 1:02.85
100 freestyle: 1-Supinski 51.77, 4-Wright 56.19, 5-Stromberg 56.97
500 freestyle: 1-Smith 5:16.19, 2-Goll 5:20.81, 3-Vukelich 5:41.95
200 free relay: 1-Brainerd (Jacobsen, McKeag, Goll, Kuglin) 1:36.25; 3-Brainerd (Majerle, Askegaard, Dan Larson, Vukelich) 1:43.83
100 backstroke: 1-Preston Owen (B) 1:05.32, 2-Troy Bialka (B) 1:10.24, 3-Mitch Quaal (B) 1:10.67
100 breaststroke: 1-Charlie O’Brien (SR) 1:12.21, Ex-Wells 1:07.78, Ex-Majerle 1:12.31, Ex-Jared Sachs (B) 1:14.96
400 free relay: 1-Sauk Rapids 3:55.43, Ex-Brainerd (Smith, Supinski, McKeag, Askegaard) 3:30.88; Ex-Brainerd (Goll, Vukelich, Kuglin, Wright) 3:40.14.
MIKE BIALKA, sports editor, may be reached at 855-5861. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bertsballpark.