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Girls Swimming and Diving: Warriors stay perfect on season with win over Tech

Brainerd hosted the St. Cloud Tech Tigers in a battle of unbeatens.

A head on shot of a swimmer doing the butterfly, teams in the background cheer on their swimmers.
Brainerd's Mariah Alderson swims the butterfly during the 200-yard medley relay against St. Cloud Tech on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022, at Brainerd.
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch
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BRAINERD — it was a meet the Brainerd Warriors had circled on their calendar.

And they came to swim Thursday, Sept. 15, at the Brainerd Aquatic Center. It’s a good thing because so did the St. Cloud Tech Tigers.

In Brainerd’s first real competition of the season, the Warriors withstood the Tigers to remain unbeaten with a 108-78 victory.

The intensity was apparent from the start as an animated Dan Anderson, head coach of the Warriors, willed his 200-yard medley relay team to a first-place time of 1:54.87. It was the first time the foursome of Mya Tautges, Avery Duerr, Mariah Alderson and Isabelle Ploof swam together in that event this year.

“We knew we had the makings of a good one,” Anderson said. “We haven’t put it together all year. We had like two of them would be in one relay and the other two would be in the other. Part of that was so that Tech wouldn’t know what we had because we were kind of eye-balling this meet. This is the first time we put it together and on paper, we figure we could go 1:56, but on paper doesn’t mean a thing. Then they went out and went 1:54 and there is some room for improvement.”

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Avery Duerr couldn’t see her coach cheering on the pool deck, but she knew it was a big race.

“I thought that win was really important because we really wanted to beat Tech,” Duerr said. “We wanted to win that relay and have our B relay get second. I just wanted to go as fast as I could.

“It was a little more fun tonight because it was intense.”

Tautges added wins in the 50 and 100 freestyles and she also anchored Brainerd’s first-place 200 free relay of Gabby Chalupsky, Ploof and Scarlett Anderson to a time of 1:45.5

“That’s a pretty good relay, too, and we haven’t put it together yet this season,” Anderson said. “To be 1:45 right now, that’s a good place to be.”

Brainerd’s divers did what they’ve been doing all season long. Izzy Olson posted a first-place score of 255.75. It’s her fourth straight victory. Evie Helsene was second with 220.2 points and Brenna Deason placed third in 204.5.

Avery Duerr concluded Brainerd’s first-place finishes by winning the 100 breaststroke in 1:11.93.

“I just go out and swim it as hard as I can,” Duerr said. “Then I just try to stay as strong as I can in the last 50. I wasn’t feeling comfortable.”

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After three Tech victories, Brainerd secured second, third and fourth and that was the gameplan going into the Central Lakes Conference dual.

“The girls really stepped up and we challenged them a little bit last night,” Anderson said. “We told them Tech was good and if we didn’t show up they were going to beat us. They really almost could have won every event tonight, except maybe for the breaststroke, the 200 free relay and diving. I think we had those covered. But every other event they had the potential to win and then we had to go 2-3-4 just to outpoint them.

“The kids stepped up and we won a couple of races we probably weren’t expecting to.”

Brainerd 108, St. Cloud Tech 78

200 medley relay: 1-Brainerd (Mya Tautges, Avery Duerr, Mariah Alderson, Isabelle Ploof) 1:54.87; 3-Brainerd (Kaia Iske, Brynn Haapajoki, Autumn Larson, Ella Ostrowski) 2:05.2

200 freestyle: 1-Maggie Cole (Tech) 2:06.62, 2-Scarlett Anderson (Brd) 2:07.69, 3-Gabby Chalupsky (Brd) 2:08.32, 4-Sophie Mattson (Brd) 2;12.8

200 individual medley: 1-Aliina Gustin (Tech) 2:23.57, 2-Duerr 2;24.74, 4-Aralyn Marcelo (Brd) 2;32.62, 5-Haapajoki 2:36.89

50 freestyle: 1-Mya Tautges (Brd) 25.4, 3-Ploof 25.79, 6-Ostrowski 28.41

Diving: 1-Izzy Olson (Brd) 255.75, 2-Evie Helsene (Brd) 220.20, 3-Brenna Deason (Brd) 204.5

100 butterfly: 1-Kierstyn Nelson (Tech) 1:01.74, 2-Iske 1:03.54, 3-Alderson 1:06.38, 4-Larson 1:08.54

100 freestyle: 1-Tautges 56.29, 3-Ploof 57.63, 4-Chalupsky 58.36

500 freestyle: 1-Cole 5:41.99, 2-Scarlett Anderson 5:42.47, 3-Larson 5:57.65, 4-Mattson 6:02.20

200 freestyle relay: 1- Brainerd (Chalupsky, Ploof, Scarlett Anderson, Tautges) 1:45.5;3- Brainerd ( Duerr, Ostrowski, Mattson, Marcelo) 1:51.15

100 backstroke: 1-Katelyn Siers (Tech) 1:03.27, 3-Iske 1:08.87, 4-Greta Gearey (Brd) 1:09.15, 5-Alderson 1:09.74

100 breaststroke: 1-Duerr 1:11.93, 3- Haapajoki 1:17.39, 6-Gabriella Bratney (Brd) 1:29.09

400 freestyle relay: 1-Tech 3:5.82, 2-Brainerd (Iske, Marcelo, Chalupsky, Scarlett Anderson) 4:02.06; 3-Brainerd (Mattson, Ostrowski, Larson, Alderson) 4:12.51

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop.

Warriors 108, Tech 78

Key: Mya Tautges was a double winner and Brainerd won two of three relays

Conference: Brd 3-0, Tech 3-1

Overall: Brd 4-0, Tech 3-1

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Next: Brainerd at West Fargo Invite 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 17.

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