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Brainerd’s Fallon Ryan takes first in the 50 free Thursday against Alexandria. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch)

Girls Swimming & Diving: Versatile Warriors submerge Alexandria

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Versatility is one trademark of a championship swimming and diving team and the Brainerd Warriors appear to have a ton of it.

Despite swimming a few events that weren't their specialty, the Warriors still swept all 12 first-place finishes as they opened the Central Lakes Conference season Thursday night with a resounding 129-57 win over the Alexandria Cardinals in the Brainerd High School pool.

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Fallon Ryan and Hannah McKeag, two of the Warriors' top performers, provided two firsts apiece and were each on two winning relays.

"They're veterans. They're expected to swim well," Warriors coach Dan Anderson said.

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Warriors 129, Alexandria 57

The key: Fallon Ryan and Hannah McKeag each won two events and were on two first-place relays

  • Conference: Brd 1-0
  • Overall: Brd 2-0
  • Next: Brainerd at St. Cloud 6 p.m. Sept. 4.

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Ryan's specialty is the 500 free, which she won with a time of 5:41.08.

"I haven't swam (the 500) since last year at sections," Ryan said. "It was kind of rough last year. I was kind of happy to get that mental block out of my head. It felt good tonight."

The 100 backstroke is McKeag's specialty, which she attacked and won with a time of 1:03.93.

"I was hoping to go a little faster, but that's OK," McKeag said. "It's just a starting time so hopefully I will get faster."

Ryan won her off-event, the 50 free, with a time of 26.67.

"It's definitely a little bit shorter than my normal events, but it wasn't too bad," she said. "Hopefully I probably will not swim that one too often. It's too short for me."

The 100 free was McKeag's off-event and she touched first with a time of 57.65.

"I've done it before," McKeag said. "Usually I'm in the 50, but it was kind of nice to do the 100. It's a little longer. I like the 100. It's easier to keep going."

Ryan and McKeag were on the winning 200 medley and 400 free relays. Kylie Lange and Reilly Peterson joined them on the 200 medley. Katie Streiff and Alyssa Williams were their teammates in the 400 free.

"Hopefully those will get faster this year, but we're still training really hard so our bodies are really tired," Ryan said.

"I love relays," McKeag said. "They're probably the best part of the whole meet."

Other Warrior winners were Williams in the 200 free, Peterson in the 200 IM, Cami Harmer in diving, Streiff in the 100 butterfly, Lange in the 100 breaststroke and the 200 free relay of Williams, Sydney Erickson, Streiff and Peterson.

"I thought Alyssa Williams had a nice meet," Anderson said. "Her 200 free was a nice time. Her 100 fly was nice. Katie Streiff's 100 fly was a nice swim for her first one of the year."

The 2-0 Warriors have defeated their first two opponents by a combined margin of 114 points.

"We're just moving kids around, trying to see what different combinations we can put together," Anderson said. "Like I told the girls we're OK for three weeks in, but we've got a long way to go to be where we expect to be."

Brainerd 129, Alexandria 57

200 medley relay: 1-Brainerd (Hannah McKeag, Kylie Lange, Fallon Ryan, Reilly Peterson) 1:59.90; 3-Brainerd (Julia Wallace, Samantha Hartman, Sydney Erickson, Jamie Wallace) 2:02.78; 6-Brainerd (Helena Wise, Samantha Schultz, Abby Rubado, Maggie Mattson) 2:31.67

200 freestyle: 1-Alyssa Williams (B) 2:05.22, 3-Katie Streiff (B) 2:07.69, 4-Allison Crum (B) 2:11.63

200 individual medley: 1-Peterson 2:25.77, 2-Julia Wallace 2:28.27, 4-Wise 2:39.07

50 freestyle: 1-Ryan 26.67, 3-Jamie Wallace 27.93, 4-Erickson 28.54

Diving: 1-Cami Harmer (B) 185.05, 2-Anna Herath 149.60, 5- Baylee Bessingpas (B) 134.35

100 butterfly: 1-Streiff 1:02.09, 2-Williams 1:06.73, 4-Erickson 1:07.96

100 freestyle: 1-McKeag 57.65, 2-Crum 1:01.26

500 freestyle: 1-Ryan 5:41.08, 3-Jamie Wallace 6:11.38, 4-Rubado 6:22.63

200 freestyle relay: 1-Brainerd (Williams, Erickson, Streiff, Peterson) 1:47.36; 3-Brainerd (Lange, Megan Wilhelm, Annie Grabowski, Crum) 1:57.02

100 backstroke: 1-McKeag 1:03.93, 2-Julia Wallace 1:06.83, 4-Wise 1:09.53

100 breaststroke: 1-Lange 1:17.98, 3-Samantha Hartman (B) 1:18.95, 6-Haley Bradford (B) 1:28.07

400 freestyle relay: 1-Brainerd (Williams, Streiff, McKeag, Ryan) 3:56.40; 3-Brainerd (Jamie Wallace, Julia Wallace, Crum, Wise) 4:05.74; Brainerd (Libby Fabian, Megan Wilhelm, Rubado, Lillian Schmitz) 4:36.91

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Mike Bialka
(218) 855-5861
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