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Boys Swimming and Diving: Smith stands tall in Warrior win

Warriors 106, Fergus Falls 65 Key: Warriors swam 11 first-place times Conf: Brd 5-2, FF 3-3 Overall: Brd 5-2, FF 3-3 Next: Brainerd hosts Sauk Rapids 6 p.m. Feb. 5 Peder Smith is at a slight disadvantage. Don't expect any excuses from the shorter...

Brainerd’s Peder Smith swims the 200-yard freestyle Thursday against Fergus Falls. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery)
Brainerd’s Peder Smith swims the 200-yard freestyle Thursday against Fergus Falls. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery)

Warriors 106, Fergus Falls 65

Key: Warriors swam 11 first-place times

Conf: Brd 5-2, FF 3-3

Overall: Brd 5-2, FF 3-3

Next: Brainerd hosts Sauk Rapids 6 p.m. Feb. 5

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Peder Smith is at a slight disadvantage.

Don't expect any excuses from the shorter Brainerd Warrior, who continued his onslaught on Central Lakes Conference competition with a sweep of the distance freestyles during Thursday's 106-65 victory over Fergus Falls at Brainerd High School.

Smith, who holds the school record in the 500 free, swam a 5:26.25 for first place. The competition was only his teammates, Gunnar Niemeyer and Hanson Devine, as the Otters didn't post any swimmers. The junior also won the 200 free in 1:57.87.

"I try not to think about it too much," said Smith. "Being a distance swimmer, maybe it doesn't matter that much. I just try to make up for it in different categories."

A generous guess to Smith's height would be 5-foot-9. He makes up for his disadvantage with technique, said Warriors head coach John Zemke.

"He is so efficient in the water, and in fact, the Fergus coach came up to me and said 'Thank your swimmer for putting on a clinic for my swimmers to see,"' said Zemke. "He is so efficient on top of the water and off of his walls. If we could teach every kid to swim like that, we would be in good shape.

"His hand positioning for one is great. It hits the water and follows all the way through. He just has that stroke that catches so much water. There is not a wasted motion at all. We teach all of our kids to swim that way. It just doesn't always carry through."

Smith, who finished 19th in last year's Class 2A state swim meet in the 500, owns a season-best time of 5:08.37 in the 500 and a 1:52.46 season-best time in the 200. His career bests are 4:52.66 and 1:50.90 respectively.

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Smith's goals are to return to state and swim the second day of the meet, which would mean at least a top 16 finish. He also hopes to help two Brainerd relays to state.

"The relays are a lot of fun with three of my best friends on both of those," said Smith. "We've got a really good chance to make it to state in both of those relays. As long as we're getting our starts down and swimming fast we should be able to do some exciting things."

Smith swam on the winning 200 medley relay with Preston Owen, Matt Majerle and David Supinski. Those four also won the 400 free with a time of 3:29.96.

Supinski swept the sprint freestyles with a 50-free winning time of 23.59 and a 100-free winning time of 51.37. Majerle captured the 200 individual medley and the butterfly, while Owen won the backstroke in 58.96.

A background in cross country running and track and field helps Smith outlast much of his competition, but Zemke again emphasized Smith's swimming stroke.

"Peder swam at a very young age," said Zemke. "When you start that young and have good habits right away, you are at such an advantage. We've had some kids who started this year, who are picking up on that stroke right now. They just need a little more endurance and they're going to come a long way fast."

Freshman Niemeyer fits that bill. The fellow distance swimmer was second in the 500 and sophomore Devan Liebeg was second in the 100. The Warriors swept the top three spots in diving with Robert Young winning with 204.25 points.

"We're seeing some good things out of some ninth- and 10th-graders that we weren't seeing at the beginning of the year," Zemke said. "I really think it was just a matter of our ninth-graders adjusting to our practice schedule. They went from an hour of practice to an hour of dryland and two hours of swimming. It's a big adjustment. It's tough on their bodies, but now we have them used to it."

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Brainerd 106, Fergus Falls 65

200 medley relay: 1-Brainerd (Preston Owen, Matt Majerle, Peder Smith, David Supinski) 1:46.17; 3-Brainerd (Gunnar Niemeyer, Michael Bylander, Parker Frederickson, Devan Liebeg) 1:57.17, 4-Brainerd (Ryan Stout, Mitch Quall, Ben Wickman, Cody Tusler) 2:03.85

200 freestyle: 1-Smith 1:57.87, 2-Hanson Devine (Brd) 2:01.93, 4-Niemeyer 2:05.18

200 individual medley: 1-Majerle 2:10.57, 2-Owen 2:15.16, 5-Bylander 2:26.34

50 freestyle: 1-Supinski 23.59, 4-Liebeg 25.08, 5-Mike Lyscio (Brd) 26.09

Diving: 1-Robert Young (Brd) 204.25, 2-Brady Streiff (Brd) 148.75, 3-Tim Whiteman (Brd) 136.75

100 butterfly: 1-Majerle 57.65, 3-Frederickson 1:05.56, 5-Lyscio 1:08.23

100 freestyle: 1-Supinski 51.37, 2-Liebeg 54.62, 5-Quall 56.51

500 freestyle: 1-Smith 5:26.25, 2-Niemeyer 5:35.97, 3-Devine 5:37.47

200 freestyle relay: 1-Fergus Falls 1:36.42, 2-Brainerd (Lyscio, Quall, Niemeyer, Liebeg); 1:42.11, 3-Brainerd (Frederickson, Bylander, Tusler, Devine) 1:45.73,4- Brainerd (Young, Eric Rude, Alex Vukelich, Charles Rude) 1:49.96

100 backstroke: 1-Owen 58.96, 3-Charlie Rude 1:10.94, 4-Ben Wickman 1:11.59

100 breaststroke: 1-Daniel Kowalski 1:08.13, 4-Michael Bylander 1:15.86, 5-Zach Rude 1:19.59, 6-David Kelm (Brd) 1:19.65

400 freestyle relay: 1-Brainerd (Supinski, Majerle, Owen, Smith) 3:29.96; 2-Brainerd (Quall, Wickman, Devine, Lyscio) 3:54.68, 3-Brainerd (Frederickson, Ryan Stout, Charlie Rude, Eric Rude) 4:06.39

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 855-5856 or jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop .

Brainerd’s Peder Smith swims the 200-yard freestyle Thursday against Fergus Falls. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch)
Brainerd’s Peder Smith swims the 200-yard freestyle Thursday against Fergus Falls. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch)

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