WARRIORS ATHLETE OF WEEK: Swimmer splashes to 10 wins in first three meets
Fallon Ryan doesn’t like to lose and so far this season she isn’t doing any losing.
In the season’s first three dual meets, the Brainerd Warriors’ sophomore has won all six of the individual events in which she has competed and has been a member of four first-place relays, which she anchors.
“We have good relays this year so I don’t have too much (time) to make up,” said Ryan, whose efforts landed her Central Lakes Conference swimmer of the week honors. “I’m really competitive. I don’t like to have people beat me. That’s why (Warriors coach Dan Anderson) puts me last, so I can finish it off good.”
In the season opener against Bemidji, Ryan won the 200 and 500 free and was on the winning 200 free relay. Against St. Cloud Tech, she won the 200 and 100 and was on the winning 200 free relay and 400 free relays. Against Sauk Rapids, she won the 50 and 500 and was on the winning 200 medley relay.
Although she has won two sprint events (50 and 100) this season, Ryan’s specialty is the 200 and 500, which she has won twice apiece this fall.
“The past few meets we’ve been swimming against young teams,” Ryan said, “so (Anderson) mixed us up to see what different events we could be good at. I’ve been doing some sprinting, and it’s been fun, but I like my distance stuff the best. That’s what I have two (school) records in is distance.”
Ryan isn’t going to rest on setting school records as a freshman. She swam a 1:59.22 for her 200 school record and a 5:19.50 for her 500 record.
“I hope to break my records each year, that would be my personal goal,” she said. “And, I hope to go to state again, see if I can drop my times down. Right now I’m trying to get 1:56 in the 200, and 5:08 in the 500.”
In 2011, Ryan was the Section 8-2A runner-up in the 200 and 500. She went on to place 18th at state in the 500, and 20th in the 200.
“Last year, kind of like Anderson says, I got my feet wet at state, I found out what it was all about,” Ryan said. “It was really overwhelming. Now that I know what’s going on, maybe I can place a little better. I want to be top 16 by the time I graduate, that’s one of my main goals. I hope that my experience last year will pay off this year.”
Anderson couldn’t say enough about how Ryan has started the season. He added that she has a ways to go to get where she needs to be but he’s confident she will get there.
“This year is kind of a new experience for her,” Anderson said. “In practice, she’s always had an older girl to train with. She doesn’t have that this year. She’s had to learn to pace herself in practice, which isn’t an easy thing to do, but she’s doing fine with that.
“She’s really a competitor. She knows how to race. She doesn’t back down, that’s for sure. I know she likes to win.”
Last year, senior teammate Stephanie Hansen pushed Ryan. She said it’s been adjustment, not having Hansen around.
“Steph was like my big sister on the team,” said Ryan, who’s in her third varsity season. “She pushed me in practice to do the best I could, along with the coaches, plus in races we paced off of each other. Now, I have to swim my own race.”
■ Megan Hintz-Sara Wennerstrand, girls tennis, won the No. 1 doubles title in the Brainerd Moose tournament and in the Camp Lake Hubert tournament.
■ Morgan Steffen-Chloe-Glassman, girls tennis, won the No. 2 doubles title in the Moose tournament.
■ Rosemary Hunter and Kristina Anderson, girls tennis, won the No. 3 and No. 4 singles titles in the Moose tournament.
■ Morgan Steffen-Natalie Comeau, girls tennis, won the No. 2 doubles title at the Delano tournament.
■ Emily Beltran, girls soccer, scored three goals against Alexandria.
■ Logan Davis, football, rushed for 123 yards and a TD against Tech.
■ Conor Gessell, football, rushed for 95 yards and two TDs against Tech.
■ Luke Boran, football, has thrown for 244 yards and three TDs in the first two games.