Girls Swimming and Diving: Alderson, Medley set tone for Warrior win

The Brainerd Warriors hosted the Melrose Dutchmen.

Avery Duerr swims the breaststroke.
Brainerd Warrior Avery Duerr swims the breaststroke in the 200-yard individual medley against Melrose Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in the Brained High School Pool.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch
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BRAINERD — Mariah Alderson knows how to set a tone.

Alderson, a senior, teams with Mya Tautges, Avery Duerr and Isabelle Ploof for the Brainerd Warriors 200-yard medley relay. The foursome hasn’t lost since they teamed together for the St. Cloud Tech dual Sept. 15.

Their perfect record remained intact Tuesday, Sept. 27, as the foursome swam a first-place 1:55.03 to set the tone and lead the Warriors to a 105.5-76.5 non-conference victory over the Melrose Dutchmen.

“I feel like it starts us off really good, but it can start us off not so good,” Alderson said. “We can usually come back from it. Mya in the backstroke got us ahead. You never know how the other team’s strokes are going to be. I just told myself I have to do this.

“Winning that first event definitely gives you confidence for the rest of the meet, especially individually. It makes you say, ‘Oh, Wow. I think I can do this for the rest of the meet.’ That team is so strong. We love to see us in first place up on the board after the race.”


Warrior head coach Dan Anderson said it’s awesome to have a top-level medley relay.

“You have to have all four pieces and that’s hard to get,” Anderson added. “We have it this year. I knew Melrose was going to have a good medley, too, but to have that confidence in your team is nice.”

Mya Tautges was a double winner for the Warriors as she captured the 50 freestyle in 25.35 and won the 100 backstroke in 1:02.48.

Scarlett Anderson secured a 200-freestyle win in 2:08.15 followed by Gabby Chalupsky in second.

“Scarlett is always there,” Anderson said. “Gabby and Isabelle Ploof. They’re all really good swimmers. Sometimes they end up swimming against Mya, but they’re great swimmers in their own right. We have a lot of really good swimmers. And they’re awesome kids. They’ll do whatever I ask them to do. They’ll swim anything. I can’t ask for more.”

Kaia Iske won the 100 butterfly in 1:04.06 with Alderson in second and Autumn Larson in third.

“Today was actually really good for myself,” Alderson said. “I did really well at last year’s sections, but this season I haven’t been swimming where I want to be. I know I can do well at sections in the end, but today went really well and I’m starting to get the times I like to see.

“It’s very hard not to see those times you want and I was kind of in that rut. The coaches are there to tell us to keep working and it will pay off and when you see a day like this, you know that they’re right. It’s a true process.”


Ploof won the 100 free with Chalupsky in second. Ploof also anchored the first-place 200 free relay with Chalupsky, Anderson and Duerr.

The freshmen Duerr had her hands full with defending Class 1A state champion breaststroker Hallie Drossel. Drossel beat Duerr in the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke. Duerr made her work for the breaststroke win, however. Drossel won in 1:09.16 and Duerr finished in 1:10.52

“I thought she swam a great race,” Anderson said. “She doesn’t back down. She was racing that girl well. She’ll tell you she kind of rushed her last underwater pull-out, but that’s an aggressive mistake and that’s fine. She’s young. She just has to clean up a few things.”

Brainerd’s divers did what they’ve done all year which is own the top three spots. Izzy Olson won with 252.85 points. Brenna Deason placed second with 217.35 and Evi Helsene was third in 198.5.

“Sometimes we have our goofy moments, but we are all working hard,” Alderson said. “I think Sartell is our biggest competition and we’re getting nervous for them, but we can’t talk down about ourselves. We don’t know what it’s going to be like. We just have to be prepared and be confident and every day come with the same attitude to work hard.”

Brainerd 105.5, Melrose 76.5

200 medley relay: 1-Brainerd (Mya Tautges, Avery Duerr, Mariah Alderson, Isabelle Ploof) 1:55.03; 3-Brainerd (Kaia Iske, Brynn Haapajoki, Autumn Larson, Lexi Lugo) 2:04.01, 6-Brainerd (Greta Geary, Libby Lake, Maggie Neptune, Layla Wallace) 2:18.23

200 freestyle: 1-Scarlett Anderson (Brd) 2:08.15, 2-Gabby Chalupsky (Brd) 2:09.4, 4-Sophie Mattson (Brd) 2:14.94

200 individual medley: 1-Hallie Drossel (Melrose) 2:18.45, 2-Duerr 2:26.04, 3-Iske 2:29.08, 4t-Aralyn Marcello 2:35.78

50 freestyle: 1-Tautges 25.35, 2-Ploof 25.79, 4-Lugo 27.79

Diving: 1-Izzy Olson (Brd) 252.85, 2-Brenna Deason (Brd) 217.35, 3-Evi Helsene (Brd) 198.5

100 butterfly: 1-Iske 1:04.06, 2-Alderson 1:05.70, 3-Larson 1:06.65

100 freestyle: 1-Ploof 57.47, 2-Chalupsky 58.52, 4-Scarlett Anderson 59.47

500 freestyle: 1-Jalden Smith (Melrose) 5:51.71, 2-Larson 5:54.4, 3-Mattson 5:55.74, 4-Aralyn Marcelo (Brd) 6 :02.15

200 freestyle relay: 1-Brainerd (Chalupsky, Ploof, Anderson, Duerr) 1:45.97; 3-Brainerd ( Lugo, Ella Ostrowski, Mattson, Marcelo) 1:53.09

100 backstroke: 1-Tautges 1:02.48, 4-Greta Gearey (Brd) 1:09.37, 5-Mariah Alderson (Brd) 1:09.72

100 breaststroke: 1-Drossel 1:09.16, 2-Duerr 1:10.52, 3-Haapajoki 1:16.46, 6-Libby Lake (Brd) 1:27.94

400 freestyle relay: 1-Brainerd (Iske, Chalupsky, Scarlett Anderson, Tautges) 3:57.05; 3-Brainerd ( Mattson, Ostrowski, Larson, Marcelo) 4:13.03

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or Follow on Twitter at .

Warriors 105.5, Melrose 76.5

Key: Brainerd won nine events and swept the diving competition


Overall: Brd 6-0

Next: Brainerd hosts Sauk Rapids 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29.

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