The Brainerd Warrior boys' swimming and diving team picked up where it left off last season and in some cases was even better.
The Warriors won nine events with times similar to those of the section and state meets. Brainerd captured the top two spots in five events to knock off the Willmar Cardinals 110-74 Thursday at Brainerd High School.
Warriors coach John Zemke was impressed with his team's performance in its season-opener. Willmar was coming off a 10th-place finish at the Class 1A state meet and had everyone back except one top swimmer.
Brainerd sophomore Alex Rudstrom swam to a second-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle event in Thursday's meet. More photos in Spotted at brainerddispatch.com. Brainerd Dispatch/Clint Wood
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"The relays were probably some of the biggest surprises overall," said Zemke. "The medley relay was a second and a half faster than they went at state last year. I was very surprised.
"Then the last relay (400 free), even though we exhibitioned it, I don't think we swam that time until the section meet."
Brainerd's Jared Anderson is 1-for-1 in his state title defense of the 100-yard breaststroke, winning the event in 1:04.97. He also won the 200 individual medley and helped the 200 medley and 200 free relays to victories.
Andrew Goll was a multiple winner, claiming the 200 and 500 frees. He was also a member of the winning 400 relay, along with Evan Reese, Jake Larson and Alek Rudstrom.
Mike Ruen picked up the other Warrior swimming win in the 100 butterfly.
Warriors 110, Willmar 74
Key: Brainerd won nine of the 12 events and captured the top two spots in five events
Conf: Brd 1-0, Wil 0-1
Overall: Brd 1-0, Wil 0-1
Next: Brainerd hosts Bemidji 6 p.m. Tuesday
Michael Brekken and Reese rounded out the 200 medley relay. Brekken secured second place in the 100 backstroke with a time that was a second faster than his time at the end of last season. Reese was second in the 50 free.
"Coach has been preaching to us that we are bigger, we're stronger and we're older so we need to come through," said Brekken. "There are big expectations for everyone. We all worked hard this summer."
Brekken, Jake Larson and Jon Warling were on the 200 free relay.
Keenan Goodrich won the diving with 164.85 points. Britton Murrey placed second.
"To beat a good team like Willmar is huge," said Brekken. "It's a good stepping stone for the rest of the year. We have some tough meets coming up and this helps to beat a great team like Willmar.
"Also, to come out and swim the times that we did today just says that we can go pretty far."
Brainerd 110, Willmar 74
200 medley relay: 1-Brainerd (Mike Brekken, Jared Anderson, Mike Ruen, Evan Reese) 1:43.05; 3-Brainerd (Alek Rudstrom, Josh Sachs, Brian Kolbeck, Chris Dens) 1:50.63; 4-Brainerd (Trevor Howard, Peter Jacobsen, Nick Swenson, Cory Thomsen)
200 freestyle: 1- Andrew Goll (Brd) 1:54.79, 2-Jake Larson (Brd) 1:56.87, 5-Will Henningson (Brd) 2:06.21
200 individual medley: 1-Anderson (Brd) 2:09.22, 2-Ruen (Brd) 2:18.72, 4-Jon Warling (Brd) 2:21.88
50 freestyle: 1-Jackson Roberts (Wil) 23.55, 2-Reese (Brd) 23.95, 4-Brekken (Brd) 24.33, 5-Dens (Brd) 24.74
Diving: 1-Keenan Goodrich (Brd) 164.85, 2-Britton Murrey (Brd) 150.20, 5-Jack Eggen (Brd) 99.70
100 butterfly: 1- Ruen (Brd) 58.21, 2-Kolbeck (Brd) 1:00.50, 4-Warling (Brd) 1:03.90
100 freestyle: 1-Roberts (Wil) 52.41, 2-Rudstrom (Brd) 52.55, 3-Reese (Brd) 52.89, 4-Jake Larson (Brd) 53.60
500 freestyle: 1-Goll (Brd) 5:24.37, 3-Henningson (Brd) 5:49.06, 5-Kolbeck (Brd) 5:59.26
200 freestyle relay: 1-Brainerd (Brekken, Jake Larson, Warling, Anderson) 1:34.57, 3-Brainerd (Dens, W. Henningson, Josh Sachs, Goll) 1:41.25
100 backstroke: 1-Steve Kluver (Wil) 58.74 2-Brekken (Brd) 1:02.22, 3-Rudstrom (Brd) 1:02.53, 5-Trevor Howard (Brd) 1:07.65
100 breaststroke: 1-Anderson (Brd) 1:04.97, 2-Josh Sachs (Brd) 1:09.71, 5-Jacobsen (Brd) 1:13.33
400 freestyle relay: 1-Brainerd (Larson, Rudstrom, Goll, Reese) 3:32.79, 3-Brainerd (Ruen, Dens, Warling, Howard) 3:42.57, 5-Brainerd (Henningson, Kolbeck, Ethan Davis, Nicholas Swenson) 4:00.02
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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