The two-time defending Class AA state champion Alexandria Cardinals swimming and diving team came into its dual meet Thursday with the Brainerd Warriors after having lost a dual meet for the first time in five years.
On Dec. 12 the Moorhead Spuds snapped Alexandria's 50-meet win streak when they beat the Cardinals 95-91.
The Warriors entered the Central Lakes Conference meet at the Brainerd High School pool with a spotless record and with no intention of putting a mark in their loss column.
Unfortunately, one team had to lose and it was the Warriors who were defeated 102.5 to 83.5.
Shaun Kennedy of the Brainerd Warriors smiled as he talked to a former teammate after winning the diving competition in Thursday's meet.
"They lost their meet against (Moorhead) but they were without a couple key guys," said Warriors coach John Zemke. "We knew they would probably be back. We got their times when they swam against Moorhead so we were pretty excited at the chance to swim against them at home."
The Warriors were within four points after the 500-yard freestyle where Bruce Droogsma won with a time of 5:37.94. Brainerd's Matt Krueger was third and Tyler Rosnau fourth.
With four events left Alexandria found an extra gear in the water as it took home four wins to narrowly defeat the Warriors.
In the 200 freestyle Brainerd was 3/10ths of a second behind Alexandria. In the 100 backstroke Matt Schmitz and Jason Howard captured second and third place, respectively, but Alexandria's Frank Kalina was first.
Josh Schirmer of the Brainerd Warriors swimming and diving team finished second in the 100-yard butterfly in Thursday's meet. (Dispatch Photo by Clint Wood)
"Down by four that 200 free relay was within a couple tenths of second so if we would have won that, that's a six-point swing right there," Zemke said. "The backstroke and breaststroke were very close."
Alexandria's Kalina was also a member of the winning 400 freestyle relay that sealed the win. The Cardinals secured 10 points on the last event while Brainerd captured four.
"I'm happy with our overall performance," said Zemke. "Last year we went to Alexandria and got beat by 50 and they graduated a lot of kids but by the same token we're happy to hang with them.
"Last year the dual meet was in December and we lost by 50. In the section meet at the end of the year we ended up losing by two.
"They lost a lot of seniors and we lost a lot of seniors. Just to stay within 19 points we're pretty pleased."
Alexandria built an early 32-14 lead after three events. Then Goeman won the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.77 and Shaun Kennedy scored 242.9 points in diving for another first place and Brainerd climbed within 10.
Goeman's win in the 100 freestyle and Droogsma's first place in the 500 freestyle brought the Warriors within four.
"Ty Goeman had some nice times in the 50 and 100 free," said Zemke. "We had a nice 200 freestyle. Both Bruce Droogsma and Tyler Rosnau both swam very well.
"Matt Schmitz had a very nice meet. He was fourth in the 100 butterfly and he followed it up with a second-place finish in the backstroke, which is a personal best for a non-tapered meet.
"Overall, it was a good meet going into our Christmas training period where we really pound the yardage."
Alexandria 102.5, Brainerd 83.5
200 medley relay -- 1-Alexandria (Frank Kalina, Stas Spiridonov, Reed Ziegler, Brock Vestrum) 1:44.78, 2-Brainerd (Matt Schmitz, Scott Antolak, John Schirmer, Jason Howard) 1:48.39, 4-Brainerd (Jeremiah Peterson, Brady Rutman, Brent Bendson, Miles Krueger)
200 freestyle -- 1-Steve Erickson (A) 1:58.22, 2-Bruce Droogsma (B), 3-Tyler Rosnau (B), 6-Krueger (B)
200 individual medley -- 1-Kelina (A) 2:17.10, 4-Antolak (B), 5-Rutman (B), 6-Bendson (B)
50 freestyle -- 1- Ty Goeman (B) 22.77, 4-Darren Clabo (B), 5-Howard (B)
Diving -- 1-Shaun Kennedy (B) 242.90, 3-Dylan Pallansch, 4-Jade Whirley
100 butterfly -- 1-Stas Spiridonov (A) 56.92, 2-Schirmer (B), 4-Schmitz (B), 6-Bendson (B)
100 freestyle -- 1-Goeman (B) 52.66, 3-Clabo (B), 4-Bendson (B)
500 freestyle -- 1-Droogsma (B) 5:37.94, 3-Rosnau (B), 4-Krueger (B)
200 freestyle relay -- 1-Alexandria (Ziegler, Jon Dumm, Steve Erickson, Spiridonov) 1:36.20 , 2-Brainerd (Howard, Clabo, Goeman, Droogsma), 3-Brainerd (Schirmer, Rutman, Antolak, Rosnau)
100 backstroke -- 1-Kalina (A) 59.57, 2-Schmitz (B), 3-Howard (B), 6-Peterson (B)
100 breaststroke -- 1-1-John Bodde (A) 1:07.59, 2-Antolak (B), 4-Schirmer (B), 6-Rutman 1:13.76 (B)
400 freestyle relay -- 1-Alexandria (Erickson, Kalina, Doug McGrath, Brock Vestrum) 3:37.94, 2-Brainerd (Clabo, Goeman, Schmitz, Droogsma)
Conference -- B 1-1, A 1-0. Overall -- B 1-1, A 2-1. Next meet -- Brainerd Invitational 1 p.m. Dec. 28.
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