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SWIMMING AND DIVING: Top-ranked Sabres deal Brainerd first loss

Brainerd Warrior Fallon Ryan competed in the 200-yard freestyle Thursday during 1 / 2
rainerd’s Beth Etterman completed a dive Thursday during the Warriors home meet 2 / 2

In the last three years, the Sartell Sabres have accomplished almost as much as Michael Phelps.

The unbeaten Sabres, who beat the previously unbeaten Brainerd Warriors 106-80 in a Central Lakes Conference meet Thursday night, finished third in the Class 1A state meet last year, were champions in 2009 and third in 2008.

Sartell, ranked No. 1 in 1A this year, is also the two-time defending CLC champion.

“They’re simply better than us,” Warriors coach Dan Anderson said, “and we’re good. They came up here and put their best lineup forward. They even moved a couple kids around and hurt us wherever they could hurt us. We expected that, and I would do the same to them.

“They’re deep. They have a lot of fast swimmers. They didn’t take us lightly, that’s for sure. That’s a little measure of respect there. They’re solid in every race.”

The Sabres are led by junior superstar Marisa Wood, who has already won six individual state titles and has been a member of three state champion relay teams.

Wood broke Brainerd pool records in the 200- and 500-yard freestyles, which she already owned. Teammate Ellen Bloom won the 200 individual medley and set another pool record.

“She’s just got incredible turnover,” Anderson said. “She swims that 500 like it’s a 50. She’s just blessed with that ability to turn over.”

The Sabres’ 200 free relay, which included Wood, would have broken a pool record had it not been disqualified. Their 400 free relay, anchored by Wood, broke the Sartell school record.

Brainerd received wins from Beth Etterman in diving, Alex Erickson in the 100 butterfly and the 200 free relay of Erickson, Reilly Peterson, Alyssa Hartshorn and Fallon Ryan.

Etterman won the diving with 208.90 points.

“That’s a lifetime best for her,” Anderson said. “She’s on a roll now. That’s two times in a row over 200 points.”

Erickson swam a 1:04.70 to win the butterfly.

“I was happy with her race,” Anderson said. “She swam a smart race, like she always does. She was under control for the first half, then just slowly ate that girl up the last length. She’s done that all season. Her time was OK. That was more of a strategy thing just trying to beat that girl.”

The 200 free relay swam a time of 1:46.39.

“That was somewhat of a gift,” Anderson said. “Sartell broke our pool record but got disqualified because they jumped. We went 1:46.3, which is a very respectable time this time of the season. We put a little pressure on them there.”

Steph Hansen’s third-place time of 5:37.08 in the 500 free was a lifetime best.

Sartell 106, Brainerd 80

200 medley relay: 1-Sartell 1:52.51; 2-Brainerd (Hannah McKeag, Annika Watson, Reilly Peterson, Laura Boran) 2:02.71; DQ-Brainerd (Alex Eigen, Ariana Pelkey, Erica Rehnblom, Johanna Smith) 2:09.78

200 free: 1-Marisa Wood (S) 1:53.57, 2-Fallon Ryan (B) 2:05.48, 3-Stephanie Hansen (B) 2:06.14, 6-Paige DeFrang (B) 2:22.55

200 individual medley: 1-Ellen Bloom (S) 2:15.32, 3-Reilly Peterson (Brd) 2:28.15, 5-Alex Erickson (Brd) 2:30.87, 6-Erica Rehnblom (Brd) 2:36.87

50 free: 1-Tarin Anding (S) 25.16, 2-Alyssa Hartshorn (Brd) 26.53, 5-Hannah McKeag (Brd) 26.98, 6-Laura Boran (Brd) 27.01

Diving: 1-Beth Etterman (Brd) 208.90, 3-Madison Grausam

(Brd) 171.05, 4-Lonie Anderson (Brd) 166.20

100 butterfly: 1-Erickson 1:04.70, 3-Peterson 1:06.80, 6-Alex Eigen (Brd) 1:14.57

100 free: 1-Anding 54.95, 2-Hartshorn 57.93, 4-Boran 58.54, 6-Smith 1:04.09

500 free: 1-Wood 5:02.94, 2-Ryan 5:36.15, 3-Hansen 5:37.08, 4-DeFrang 6:24.39

200 free relay: 1-Brainerd (Erickson, Hartshorn, Peterson, Ryan) 1:46.39; 3-Brainerd (Hansen, Rehnblom, Smith, Anne Grabowski) 1:54.04

100 backstroke: 1-Bloom 1:02.22, 3-McKeag 1:06.71, 4-Greta Engen 1:14.29, 6-Alex Eigen 1:15.51

100 breaststroke: 1-Lindsey Martins (S) 1:14.51, 3-Rehnblom 1:17.57, 4-Watson 1:19.43, 5-Pelkey 1:20.34

400 free relay: 1-Sartell 3:44.99; 2-Brainerd (Erickson, Hartshorn, Boran, Ryan) 3:53.34; 4-Brainerd (Hansen, A. Eigen, Smith, McKeag) 4:14.31

MIKE BIALKA may be reached at or at 855-5861.