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SWIMMING AND DIVING: Erickson, Warriors fly past Otters

Brainerd’s Alex Erickson won the 100-yard butterfly Thursday against the Fergus

Alex Erickson is hoping to become the fastest butterfly Brainerd has ever seen.

The senior was the fastest Thursday night as she won the 100-yard butterfly by more than 10 seconds in helping the Warriors to a 106-66 Central Lakes Conference victory over the Fergus Falls Otters.

Erickson’s time of 1:04.35 is three seconds off the school record, but she’s hoping to flirt with that mark later this season.

“Today it felt good,” said Erickson. “I tried to take it out a little bit faster, but I wasn’t super happy with the time, but it was OK. Last year at sections, I was half a second away and I really want to get there.

“I’d also like to make it to state. That’s always been my dream, even when I was real young.”

Erickson also helped Brainerd’s 200 and 400 freestyle relays to first-place times.

The 200 free included Laura Boran, Riley Peterson and Fallon Ryan. The 400 free included Boran, Alyssa Hartshorn and Ryan.

“The 200 is OK,” said Erickson. “We’re just trying to take it out as fast as we can. I don’t think we were as pumped for this meet.

“The 400 free isn’t anyone’s favorite race, but we always do what we need to do.”

Erickson was second in the 50 free. That event was won by Hartshorn, who also captured the 100 free, followed by Boran in second and Peterson in third.

Peterson and eighth-grader Hannah McKeag put on a comeback clinic in the 200 individual medley. Both trailed after the 150-yard mark, but turned on the engines to finish first and second.

“You don’t see that very often,” said Brainerd head coach Dan Anderson. “That was a very good swimmer from Fergus. It wasn’t her normal event and I think she just ran out of gas. But, then, Riley, there is just no quit in her. Even in practice she just tears it up.

“I saw her do the flip and I didn’t think she could do it, but then three strokes in I knew she was going to do it.”

The duo of Ryan and Steph Hansen continued to dominate the distance events. Ryan won the 500 and 200 with Hansen runner-up in both. Boran helped Brainerd sweep the 200 free with a third-place swim. Paige DeFrang finished third in the 500 for another sweep.

“Those two events saved us early in the season when we had a couple of tight meets with Bemidji and Tech,” said Anderson. “Those two distance freestyles sealed the deal for us. To have that strong of a 200 is nice and it’s early in the meet and it just kind of sets the tone. Then you have the 500 girls coming back after diving. And then our 100 free is starting to come around, too.”

Beth Etterman continued her streak of firsts in diving with Madison Grausam in second. McKeag won the 100 backstroke and helped Brainerd’s 200 medley relay to first.

“I didn’t think we would dominate quite like this,” said Anderson. “Fergus is struggling this year and they moved a couple of kids around and that made it worse. This is a tough place to come when you’re not with a good lineup.”

Brainerd 106, Fergus Falls 66

200 medley relay: 1-Brainerd (Hannah McKeag, Annika Watson, Riley Peterson, Alyssa Hartshorn) 2:03.37, 3-Brainerd (Alex Eigen, Erica Rehnblom, Bailey Bessingpas, Beth Etterman) 2:12.04, 5-Brainerd (Greta Engen, Arianna Pelkey, Jane Stromberg, McKenzie Dondelinger) 2:14.06 

200 freestyle: 1-Fallon Ryan (Brd) 2:04.85, 2-Stephanie Hansen (Brd) 2:05.26, 3-Laura Boran (Brd) 2:08.13

200 individual medley: 1-Peterson 2:27.63, 2-McKeag 2:29.95, 4-Erica Rehnblom (Brd) 2:36.10

50 freestyle: 1-Hartshorn 26.49, 2-Alex Erickson (Brd) 26.89, 4-Johanna Smith (Brd) 28.53

Diving: 1-Etterman (Brd) 202.55, 2-Madison Grausam (Brd) 172.55, 4-Lonie Anderson (Brd) 145.75

100 butterfly: 1-Erickson 1:04.35, 2-Eigen 1:14.57

100 freestyle: 1- Hartshorn 58.05, 2-Boran 58.48, 3-Peterson 59.05

500 freestyle: 1-Ryan 5:36.19, 2-Hansen 5:40.05, 3-Paige DeFrang (Brd) 6:17.23

200 freestyle relay: 1-Brainerd (Peterson, Boran, Ryan, Erickson) 1:48.37, 2-Brainerd (Hansen, Smith, Rehnblom, Etterman) 1:45.09

100 backstroke: 1-McKeag 1:06.39, 3-Eigen 1:14.86, 4-Engen 1:15.12

100 breaststroke: 1-Taylor Monk (FF) 1:16.71, 2-Rehnblom 1:17.37, 3-Watson 1:18.48, 5-Pelkey 1:19.67 

400 freestyle relay: 1-Brainerd (Hartshorn, Boran, Ryan, Erickson) 3:56.28, Brainerd (McKeag, Hansen, Smith, Eigen) 4:09.27

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at or 855-5856.