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Class 2A State Swimming: Brainerd's Ryan reaches finals

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MINNEAPOLIS — Fallon Ryan will swim again.

The Brainerd Warriors sophomore improved on both her seed times at the Class 2A state swimming prelims Friday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.

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The one she improved the most, however, was not the one she will swim Saturday.

Ryan went almost two seconds faster than her 1:57.22 seed time in the 200-yard freestyle to finish 14th. She will swim in the consolation final Saturday.

“Fallon looked good and she swam almost an identical race from the section meet,” said Brainerd head coach Dan Anderson. “She swam a 1:55.93 and by our standards that’s really fast. There are a lot of 1:55s in her heat so she has a good shot of moving up.”

Ryan saved her best for the 500 free as she shaved six seconds of her already school-record time for a 5:11.89. Unfortunately it wasn’t good enough to advance to the finals. She placed 18th.

“It was just an incredible swim,” Anderson said. “It was good enough for 18th place. She was a second and a half from qualifying for the finals.”

Ryan didn’t concentrate on time during the Section 8-2A meet so Anderson wasn’t too surprised she dropped time. He wasn’t expecting six seconds, though.

“I though she could go faster, but you never know,” he said. “I thought she would swim something like that at the section meet, but it didn’t happen there. It happened here and as she swam a really good race.”

Hannah McKeag finished with a time of 1:00.35 for 29th place. Zoe Avesturz of Chanhassen swam a 54.08 to lead the pack.

McKeag did her best work in helping Brainerd’s 200 medley relay team shave more time yet again.

The foursome of McKeag, Erica Rehnblom, Sydney Erickson and Lauren Forsythe went in with a seed time of 1:52.38 and posted a 1:51.86. The two eighth graders, freshmen and junior weren’t phased by the big stage.

“They did amazing,” said Anderson. “They swam another half second faster. Our time was good enough for 19th place and we were the 23rd seed coming into the night. So that was nice. We still would have needed to shave off 1.2 seconds to make the top 16. So we would have had to have broken the school record to make it.”

McKeag, Ryan, Alyssa Williams and Reilly Peterson swam a 3:53.52 in the 400 free relay. That was slower than then their 3:42.66 seed time and placed them 20th.

“For how young these girls were, they really handled everything well,” he said. “They handled it like veterans. The eighth graders on the medley both went faster. The freshmen did a nice job. It was just a nice group of kids to be around. They were very professional about this. Their eyes weren’t big or anything. They were confident they could go faster and for the most part we did.”

Ryan and Brainerd Diver Beth Etterman, who qualified for the finals Thursday, will compete Saturday.

Class 2A results

200 medley relay: 1-Wayzata 1:45.28 19-Brainerd (Hannah McKeag, Erica Rehnblom, Sydney Erickson, Lauren Forsythe) 1:51.86

200 freestyle: 1-Courtney Evensen (Armstrong) 1:49.95, 14-Fallon Ryan (Brd) 1:55.93

500 freestyle: 1-Amelia Schilling (Minnetonka) 4:53.08, 18-Ryan (Brd) 5:11.89

100 backstroke: 1-Zoe Avestruz (Chanhassen) 54.08, 29-McKeag (Brd) 1:00.35

400 freestyle relay: 1-Chanhassen 3:27.53, 20-Brainerd (Alyssa Wiliams, Reilly Peterson, McKeag, Ryan) 3:43.52

Next: Class 2A state swimming and diving finals at University of Minnesota Aquatic Center, Minneapolis 6 p.m. Saturday.

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Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889
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