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Connor Smythe broke the school record in the 100-yard backstroke and qualified for the state Class A meet in that event with a time of 57.72 at the Section 3A meet.

Swimmers advance five individuals in four events to state meet

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Swimmers advance five individuals in four events to state meet
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

Going into Saturday's finals of the Section 3A boys swimming and diving meet at Willmar, Park Rapids head coach Todd Fritze told his swimmers to go after cut times in order to qualify for the state Class A meet.

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As it turned out, the Panthers qualified for state in four events, but only needed to reach cut times in two of them.

Junior Jake Waggoner earned the Panthers' first state berth with a runner-up 5:11.72 in the 500-yard freestyle.

Senior Sam Goebel, sophomore Connor Smythe, Waggoner and junior Zach Eystad followed by qualifying for state with a fourth-place 1:32.80 in the 200 freestyle relay. That broke the school record.

In the next event, Smythe broke his own school record and reached the state-qualifying time with a 57.72 for fifth place in the 100 backstroke.

Senior Ryan McBrady capped off the finals by qualifying for state in the 100 breaststroke by meeting the state cut with a 1:04.66 for seventh place.

Those efforts led the Panthers to eighth place in the team standings with 141 points. Fergus Falls claimed the section title with 344 points.

Park Rapids' five state qualifiers will attempt to reach the state finals by clocking top-16 times during Friday's preliminaries at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. Waggoner is seeded No. 19 out of 22 qualifiers, the 200 freestyle relay team is seeded No. 17 out of 21 qualifiers, Smythe is seeded No. 17 out of 21 qualifiers and McBrady is seeded No. 31 out of 37 qualifiers.

Four of the five competed at state last year. Smythe, McBrady, Goebel and Eystad qualified in the 200 medley relay while Goebel was a state qualifier in the 50 and 100 freestyle races last season.

"We have some work to do if we want to swim the second day," said Fritze. "It's do-able, but we have to get a little faster. The kids have been down there before, so we've got experience. I'm hoping for good things."

Panthers have solid start

Fritze saw plenty of good things during Friday's preliminaries.

Smythe, McBrady, Goebel and Eystad opened the meet by finishing sixth in the 200 medley relay in 1:46.27, which was below the state cut of 1:46.48.

Waggoner just missed advancing to the consolation finals in the 200 freestyle by placing 17th in 1:58.64. Ben Kading (23rd in 2:02.06) and Chris Shaw (34th in 2:06.74) also missed advancing.

After McBrady clocked a 2:13.12 for fifth place in the 200 individual medley, the Panthers qualified three swimmers for the finals in the 50 freestyle as Eystad finished fifth in 23.37, Goebel was ninth in 23.53 and Smythe took 13th in 23.79. Kurt Fritze finished 25th in 24.61.

Fred Stinar (29th in 1:08.54) and Spencer Adolphson (36th in 1:14.09) missed advancing in the 100 butterfly, but Goebel advanced in the 100 freestyle by placing eighth in 51.42. Eystad was 23rd in that race with a 54.62.

Waggoner put himself in position to qualify for state with a runner-up 5:14.19 in the 500 freestyle. Dillon Schroeder (22nd in 5:44.82), Shaw (27th in 5:47.42) and Kading (29th in 5:48.10) all had season bests in that race.

In the 200 freestyle relay, Goebel, Smythe, Waggoner and Eystad earned a spot in the finals with a sixth-place time of 1:34.82.

Smythe broke the school record and reached the finals in the 100 backstroke with a fourth-place 58.02. Colton Storseth held the previous school record of 58.87 set in 2008.

McBrady earned a spot in the finals of the 100 breaststroke with a 1:04.30 for sixth place. That topped the state cut time of 1:05.35. Tyler Booge clocked a 1:12.22 for 21st place.

The Panthers capped off preliminaries by placing 11th in the 400 freestyle relay as Waggoner, Kading, Fritze and McBrady clocked a 3:41.62.

"We had a good preliminary day," said Fritze. "We got ourselves in good position. We only missed on a couple of swims, so for the most part we were sitting pretty good. I told the guys we're in a good position, but we can still go faster."

Panthers regroup, deliver

The finals got off to a rough start when Smythe, McBrady, Goebel and Eystad were disqualified for a fast start in the 200 medley relay.

McBrady missed a state berth in the 200 individual medley by placing sixth in 2:11.89 and Eystad missed a state berth by placing sixth in the 50 freestyle in 23.25. Goebel was 12th in 23.69 and Smythe was 15th in 24.09 as the Panthers scored 20 points in that event.

The Panthers scored 11 points in diving with Kalvin Hagan placing ninth with 281.55 points and Stinar taking 15th with 240.25 points.

After Goebel scored 12 points by placing seventh in the 100 freestyle in 51.33, Waggoner gave the Panthers 17 points and their first state qualifier with a runner-up 5:11.72 in the 500 freestyle.

Park Rapids then qualified in the 200 freestyle relay as Goebel, Smythe, Waggoner and Eystad took fourth in 1:32.80 to meet the cut time of 1:33.92. That broke the school record of 1:34.20 set by Goebel, Nick Belfiori, Smythe and Eystad last season. That showing also gave the Panthers 30 points.

Smythe met the state cut of 58.63 and broke his school record by placing fifth in 57.72 in the 100 backstroke to advance to state and add 14 points to the team total.

McBrady also met the state cut and added 12 points to the Panthers' team score by placing seventh in 1:04.66 in the 100 breaststroke. The state cut was a 1:05.35.

Waggoner, Kading, Fritze and McBrady ended the meet by placing 11th in the 400 freestyle in 3:41.42 to add the final 12 points to the Panthers' team score.

"The kids swam extremely well," said Fritze. "It was a really fast meet, so the guys earned it. The guys knew they had to go faster and they did. I'm proud of them."

Team scores: Fergus Falls 344, Detroit Lakes 258, Alexandria 255, Willmar 239, Montevideo 223, Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield 166, Hutchinson 165, Park Rapids 141, Bemidji 136, Melrose/Sauk Centre 126, Perham 94, Rocori 56, Thief River Falls 48, Morris Area 22.

Individual results

200 medley relay: 1, Montevideo, 1:40.60. 2, Fergus Falls, 1:40.98. 3, Hutchinson, 1:42.47. 4, Dassel-Cokato, 1:42.81.

200 freestyle: 1, Oak, DL, 1:47.29. 2, Aaseng, A, 1:48.79. 3, McLain, W, 1:51.97. 4, Aaker, W, 1:52.16. 17, Waggoner, PR, 1:58.64. 23, Kading, PR, 2:02.06. 34, Shaw, PR, 2:06.74.

200 individual medley: 1, Mouritsen, FF, 2:05.37. 2, Dahlseng, DC, 2:07.58. 3, Spaeth, M, 2:07.66. 4, Krengel, DL, 2:10.80. 6, McBrady, PR, 2:11.89.

50 freestyle: 1, Bateman, H, 21.92. 2, Payne, M, 22.11. 3, Jones, FF, 22.94. 4, Fuglestad, W, 23.18. 6, Eystad, PR, 23.25. 12, Goebel, PR, 23.69. 15, Smythe, PR, 24.09. 25, Fritze, PR, 24.61.

Diving: 1, Woltjer, W, 395.80 points. 2, Testa, M, 386.85. 3, Aasness, FF, 349.75. 4, Rust, FF, 349.50. 9, Hagan, PR, 281.55. 15, Stinar, PR, 240.25.

100 butterfly: 1, Kitzman, FF, 53.85. 2, Hedin, H, 54.49. 3, Pearson, MSC, 55.51. 4, Sterger, FF, 56.74. 5, Fuglestad, W, 57.37. 6, Possai, TRF, 57.38. 29, Stinar, PR, 1:08.54. 36, Adolphson, PR, 1:14.09.

100 freestyle: 1, Payne, M, 48.58. 2, Fisher, FF, 49.88. 3, Carter, DL, 50.11. 4, McLain, W, 50.18. 7, Goebel, PR, 51.33. 23, Eystad, PR, 54.62.

500 freestyle: 1, Aaseng, A, 4:52.88. 2, Waggoner, PR, 5:11.72. 3, Pietrowski, A, 5:12.81. 4, Cullen, P, 5:13.99. 22, Schroeder, PR, 5:44.82. 27, Shaw, PR, 5:47.42. 29, Kading, PR, 5:48.10.

200 freestyle relay: 1, Hutchinson, 1:31.01. 2, Fergus Falls, 1:31.51. 3, Willmar, 1:31.92. 4, Park Rapids (Goebel, Smythe, Waggoner, Eystad), 1:32.80. 5, Montevideo, 1:33.24. 6, Alexandria, 1:33.38.

100 backstroke: 1, Bateman, H, 52.20. 2, Kitzman, FF, 56.72. 3, Spaeth, M, 57.22. 4, King, DL, 57.50. 5, Smythe, PR, 57.72. 6, Haus, FF, 58.41.

100 breaststroke: 1, Oak, DL, 59.31. 2, Dahlseng, DC, 59.92. 3, Jones, FF, 1:02.65. 4, Mouritsen, FF, 1:02.83. 5, Langendorfer, P, 1:04.31. 6, Hemp, B, 1:04.51. 7, McBrady, PR, 1:04.66. 8, Gort, M, 1:04.89. 9, Jacobson, A, 1:03.59. 10, Johnson, DL, 1:04.09. 21, Booge, PR, 1:12.22.

400 freestyle relay: 1, Detroit Lakes, 3:19.97. 2, Willmar, 3:21.55. 3, Fergus Falls, 3:24.35. 4, Alexandria, 3:25.76. 11, Park Rapids (Waggoner, Kading, Fritze, McBrady), 3:41.42.

BY Vance Carlson

vancec@parkrapidsenterprise.com

Going into Saturday's finals of the Section 3A boys swimming and diving meet at Willmar, Park Rapids head coach Todd Fritze told his swimmers to go after cut times in order to qualify for the state Class A meet.

As it turned out, the Panthers qualified for state in four events, but only needed to reach cut times in two of them.

Junior Jake Waggoner earned the Panthers' first state berth with a runner-up 5:11.72 in the 500-yard freestyle.

Senior Sam Goebel, sophomore Connor Smythe, Waggoner and junior Zach Eystad followed by qualifying for state with a fourth-place 1:32.80 in the 200 freestyle relay.

In the next event, Smythe broke his own school record and reached the state-qualifying time with a 57.72 for fifth place in the 100 backstroke.

Senior Ryan McBrady capped off the finals by qualifying for state in the 100 breaststroke by meeting the state cut with a 1:04.66 for seventh place.

Those efforts led the Panthers to eighth place in the team standings with 141 points. Fergus Falls claimed the section title with 344 points.

Park Rapids' five state qualifiers will attempt to reach the state finals by clocking top-16 times during Friday's preliminaries at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. Waggoner is seeded No. 19 out of 22 qualifiers, the 200 freestyle relay team is seeded No. 17 out of 21 qualifiers, Smythe is seeded No. 17 out of 21 qualifiers and McBrady is seeded No. 31 out of 37 qualifiers.

Four of the five competed at state last year. Smythe, McBrady, Goebel and Eystad qualified in the 200 medley relay while Goebel was a state qualifier in the 50 and 100 freestyle races last season.

"We have some work to do if we want to swim the second day," said Fritze. "It's do-able, but we have to get a little faster. The kids have been down there before, so we've got experience. I'm hoping for good things."

Panthers have solid start

Fritze saw plenty of good things during Friday's preliminaries.

Smythe, McBrady, Goebel and Eystad opened the meet by finishing sixth in the 200 medley relay in 1:46.27, which was below the state cut of 1:46.48.

Waggoner just missed advancing to the consolation finals in the 200 freestyle by placing 17th in 1:58.64. Ben Kading (23rd in 2:02.06) and Chris Shaw (34th in 2:06.74) also missed advancing.

After McBrady clocked a 2:13.12 for fifth place in the 200 individual medley, the Panthers qualified three swimmers for the finals in the 50 freestyle as Eystad finished fifth in 23.37, Goebel was ninth in 23.53 and Smythe took 13th in 23.79. Kurt Fritze finished 25th in 24.61.

Fred Stinar (29th in 1:08.54) and Spencer Adolphson (36th in 1:14.09) missed advancing in the 100 butterfly, but Goebel advanced in the 100 freestyle by placing eighth in 51.42. Eystad was 23rd in that race with a 54.62.

Waggoner put himself in position to qualify for state with a runner-up 5:14.19 in the 500 freestyle. Dillon Schroeder (22nd in 5:44.82), Shaw (27th in 5:47.42) and Kading (29th in 5:48.10) all had season bests in that race.

In the 200 freestyle relay, Goebel, Smythe, Waggoner and Eystad earned a spot in the finals with a sixth-place time of 1:34.82.

Smythe broke the school record and reached the finals in the 100 backstroke with a fourth-place 58.02. Colton Storseth held the previous school record of 58.87 set in 2008.

McBrady earned a spot in the finals of the 100 breaststroke with a 1:04.30 for sixth place. That topped the state cut time of 1:05.35. Tyler Booge clocked a 1:12.22 for 21st place.

The Panthers capped off preliminaries by placing 11th in the 400 freestyle relay as Waggoner, Kading, Fritze and McBrady clocked a 3:41.62.

"We had a good preliminary day," said Fritze. "We got ourselves in good position. We only missed on a couple of swims, so for the most part we were sitting pretty good. I told the guys we're in a good position, but we can still go faster."

Panthers regroup, deliver

The finals got off to a rough start when Smythe, McBrady, Goebel and Eystad were disqualified for a fast start in the 200 medley relay.

McBrady missed a state berth in the 200 individual medley by placing sixth in 2:11.89 and Eystad missed a state berth by placing sixth in the 50 freestyle in 23.25. Goebel was 12th in 23.69 and Smythe was 15th in 24.09 as the Panthers scored 20 points in that event.

The Panthers scored 11 points in diving with Kalvin Hagan placing ninth with 281.55 points and Stinar taking 15th with 240.25 points.

After Goebel scored 12 points by placing seventh in the 100 freestyle in 51.33, Waggoner gave the Panthers 17 points and their first state qualifier with a runner-up 5:11.72 in the 500 freestyle.

Park Rapids then qualified in the 200 freestyle relay as Goebel, Smythe, Waggoner and Eystad took fourth in 1:32.80 to meet the cut time of 1:33.92. That also gave the Panthers 30 points.

Smythe met the state cut of 58.63 and broke his school record by placing fifth in 57.72 in the 100 backstroke to advance to state and add 14 points to the team total.

McBrady also met the state cut and added 12 points to the Panthers' team score by placing seventh in 1:04.66 in the 100 breaststroke. The state cut was a 1:05.35.

Waggoner, Kading, Fritze and McBrady ended the meet by placing 11th in the 400 freestyle in 3:41.42 to add the final 12 points to the Panthers' team score.

"The kids swam extremely well," said Fritze. "It was a really fast meet, so the guys earned it. The guys knew they had to go faster and they did. I'm proud of them."

Team scores: Fergus Falls 344, Detroit Lakes 258, Alexandria 255, Willmar 239, Montevideo 223, Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield 166, Hutchinson 165, Park Rapids 141, Bemidji 136, Melrose/Sauk Centre 126, Perham 94, Rocori 56, Thief River Falls 48, Morris Area 22.

Individual results

200 medley relay: 1, Montevideo, 1:40.60. 2, Fergus Falls, 1:40.98. 3, Hutchinson, 1:42.47. 4, Dassel-Cokato, 1:42.81.

200 freestyle: 1, Oak, DL, 1:47.29. 2, Aaseng, A, 1:48.79. 3, McLain, W, 1:51.97. 4, Aaker, W, 1:52.16. 17, Waggoner, PR, 1:58.64. 23, Kading, PR, 2:02.06. 34, Shaw, PR, 2:06.74.

200 individual medley: 1, Mouritsen, FF, 2:05.37. 2, Dahlseng, DC, 2:07.58. 3, Spaeth, M, 2:07.66. 4, Krengel, DL, 2:10.80. 6, McBrady, PR, 2:11.89.

50 freestyle: 1, Bateman, H, 21.92. 2, Payne, M, 22.11. 3, Jones, FF, 22.94. 4, Fuglestad, W, 23.18. 6, Eystad, PR, 23.25. 12, Goebel, PR, 23.69. 15, Smythe, PR, 24.09. 25, Fritze, PR, 24.61.

Diving: 1, Woltjer, W, 395.80 points. 2, Testa, M, 386.85. 3, Aasness, FF, 349.75. 4, Rust, FF, 349.50. 9, Hagan, PR, 281.55. 15, Stinar, PR, 240.25.

100 butterfly: 1, Kitzman, FF, 53.85. 2, Hedin, H, 54.49. 3, Pearson, MSC, 55.51. 4, Sterger, FF, 56.74. 5, Fuglestad, W, 57.37. 6, Possai, TRF, 57.38. 29, Stinar, PR, 1:08.54. 36, Adolphson, PR, 1:14.09.

100 freestyle: 1, Payne, M, 48.58. 2, Fisher, FF, 49.88. 3, Carter, DL, 50.11. 4, McLain, W, 50.18. 7, Goebel, PR, 51.33. 23, Eystad, PR, 54.62.

500 freestyle: 1, Aaseng, A, 4:52.88. 2, Waggoner, PR, 5:11.72. 3, Pietrowski, A, 5:12.81. 4, Cullen, P, 5:13.99. 22, Schroeder, PR, 5:44.82. 27, Shaw, PR, 5:47.42. 29, Kading, PR, 5:48.10.

200 freestyle relay: 1, Hutchinson, 1:31.01. 2, Fergus Falls, 1:31.51. 3, Willmar, 1:31.92. 4, Park Rapids (Goebel, Smythe, Waggoner, Eystad), 1:32.80. 5, Montevideo, 1:33.24. 6, Alexandria, 1:33.38.

100 backstroke: 1, Bateman, H, 52.20. 2, Kitzman, FF, 56.72. 3, Spaeth, M, 57.22. 4, King, DL, 57.50. 5, Smythe, PR, 57.72. 6, Haus, FF, 58.41.

100 breaststroke: 1, Oak, DL, 59.31. 2, Dahlseng, DC, 59.92. 3, Jones, FF, 1:02.65. 4, Mouritsen, FF, 1:02.83. 5, Langendorfer, P, 1:04.31. 6, Hemp, B, 1:04.51. 7, McBrady, PR, 1:04.66. 8, Gort, M, 1:04.89. 9, Jacobson, A, 1:03.59. 10, Johnson, DL, 1:04.09. 21, Booge, PR, 1:12.22.

400 freestyle relay: 1, Detroit Lakes, 3:19.97. 2, Willmar, 3:21.55. 3, Fergus Falls, 3:24.35. 4, Alexandria, 3:25.76. 11, Park Rapids (Waggoner, Kading, Fritze, McBrady), 3:41.42.

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