Krista Rauen hadn't competed in the 100-yard backstroke since ninth grade.
In Thursday's 108-74 victory over the Willmar Cardinals, the Brainerd Warriors' senior returned to the event and swam it like a seasoned backstroker.
Rauen splashed her way to a first-place time of 1:06.96 in the backstroke, won the 100 butterfly and helped the 200 medley relay to victory.
"I went out and swam it a lot faster than I ever have," Rauen said of her backstroke. "I dropped two seconds from my usual time, which makes me happy.
"The starts are a lot different this year because we can't have our feet out of the water. I had to re-learn my whole backstroke start for that, but I went out and swam my best time since ninth grade."
Warriors coach Dan Anderson thought Rauen's backstroke was impressive.
"Her second 50 was only a second slower than her first 50," he said. "She just powered away in that second 50. That tells me she's in pretty good shape. Now she needs to get the first half of her race out a little faster. She could do things in that race."
In all, the Warriors won eight events on their way to raising their Central Lakes Conference and overall records to 4-0.
"We have a lot of really good people," said Rauen, a 5-year varsity swimmer. "Our junior class is the strongest of everyone. We have 21 juniors and they're just holding us in there.
"Willmar was going to be one of our toughest meets so we took it to them. The next hardest one will probably be Fergus Falls and St. Cloud Tech. Tech beat Willmar. I think we can take anyone in our conference."
Rauen took out everyone in the 100 butterfly, racing to a winning time of 1:05.70.
"Coach told me to take it out slower, and try to bring it back faster," Rauen said. "I took it out at the regular pace, but brought it back a little bit slower. I still maintained my same time. I dropped a little bit from last week, which made me happy. It's a tough race. It's always up or down."
Rauen was up for the medley relay, along with Krystal Halverson, Emily Dunphy and Katie Diiro. Rauen swims the butterfly leg, the third leg of the relay, which finished at 2:01.24.
"We dropped 100th of a second from last week, which is good," Rauen said. "A lot of that is in the starts and turns. That can make or break the relay.
Brainerd 108, Willmar 74
200 medley relay -- 1-Brainerd (Krystal Halverson, Emily Dunphy, Krista Rauen, Katie Diiro) 2:01.24, 3-Brainerd (Cara Wiltse, Sarah Gervais, Briana Elg, Jocelyn Jones) 2:05.39, 4-Brainerd (Jill London, Maggie Boland, Jenny Olson, Emily Olson) 2:12.65
200 freestyle -- 1-Erica Campbell (B) 2:05.30, 2-Christina Roberts (B) 2:08.17, 3-Jenny Wentworth (B) 2:09.89
200 individual medley -- 1-Dana Guetter (W) 2:28.93, 3-Halverson (B) 2:34.64, 4- Gervais (B) 2:38.66, 6-Elg (B) 2:39.63
50 freestyle -- 1-Diiro (B) 26.50, 2-Amanda Bateman (B) 26.59, 4-Jones (B) 27.73
Diving -- 1-Amanda Johnson (B) 194.30 points, 3-Annie Bahr (B) 167.55, 5-Lauren Trapp (B) 150.55
100 butterfly -- 1-Rauen (B) 1:05.70, 3-Elg (B) 1:12.49, 6-Emily Schirmer (B) 1:14.18
100 freestyle -- 1-A. Bateman (B) 58.11, 3-Wentworth (B) 58.76, 4-Diiro (B) 58.88
500 freestyle -- 1-Campbell (B) 5:41.45, 2-Kelsey Boran (B) 5:57.04, 3-Roberts (B) 5:57.13
200 freestyle relay -- 1-Willmar 1:57.71
100 backstroke -- 1-Rauen (B) 1:06.96, 3-Halverson (B) 1:09.77, 4-London (B) 1:15.74
100 breaststroke -- 1-Anita Nelson (W) 1:16.14, 2-Dunphy (B) 1:17.08, 3-Gervais (B) 1:17.67, 4-Dana Hanson 1:20.04
400 freestyle relay -- 1-Willmar 4:01.23, 3-Brainerd (Nicole Roncalli, Megan Groneberg, Boran, Kim Friehbole) 4:27.16
Conference -- B 4-0. Overall -- B 4-0. Next meet -- Alexandria at Brainerd 6 p.m. Tuesday.
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