MINNEAPOLIS -- It didn't end like he hoped, but Andrew Mehr has one more year to get it right.
The Brainerd Warriors junior finished eighth in the 50-yard freestyle in the Class 2A swimming and diving finals Saturday at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center.
The place didn't matter as much as the time for Mehr. His goal before state was 21.7. He was close in Friday's preliminaries dropping 5/10ths of a second from his section time. The time slashing didn't continue as Mehr finished in 22.33 Saturday.
"He didn't have the start or the turn he was hoping for," said Warriors coach John Zemke. "There's not much room to make up.
"Obviously, swimming is important, but you have guys hitting All-American times. If you're not ahead, or even at the start, it's hard to make up."
Mehr's time was his second fastest of the season. While not expecting to even swim the second day, Mehr wasn't happy with Saturday's swim.
"It wasn't my strongest performance I had a slow start and a weak turn," said Mehr. "You always try to set goals. The 21.7 was one if I swam a perfect race I could get it, but since I didn't swim a great race you can't expect to hit the number."
If he could have executed a perfect race and reached his goal of 21.7 he would have finished sixth. Mehr said he was hoping for at least fifth.
"Earlier in the season my brother and I made an agreement he would shave his head if I finished in the top five. I was really hoping for fifth."
Zemke said as a ninth-grader Mehr was swimming 25.9 in the 50. To finish eighth in the state with 22.33 the coach was pleased.
"At the beginning of the year our goal was to get him to state," said Zemke. "Then we wanted to sneak him into the second day, probably the consolation finals. After he made the championship flight we wanted more. He's just had a tremendous year."
"I think next season we should be able to get a few relays (to state)," Mehr said. "I think our guys are hungry for a state run next year."
The Warriors team won the state Academic Championship. Brainerd's 80-percent of class rank was tops in the state by .34 percent.
Class 2A Finals
50-yard freestyle -- 1-Colin Lee-To (Minnetonka) 20.76, 2-Eric Knight (Roch Century (21.42), 3-Cameron Seebeck (Eden Prairie) 21.49, 4-Anthony Buhr (Richfield) 21.53, 5-Tony Wolff (Rosemount) 21.63, 6-Danny Johnson (Wayzata) 21.84, 7-Colton Lynner (Edina) 22.07, 8-Andrew Mehr (Brainerd) 22.33
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