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Posted by Guest (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/3/2012 5:42:01 PM

By Luke Sleeper

Coach John Barnesí St. Thomas Academy swim team has dominated the Class 1A state meet since 1999, when the tournament changed to a two-class format. The 2012 meet was no different Saturday, as the Cadets took home their 10th team title and first since 2008.

Senior Luke Johanns led the way for St. Thomas, earning gold medals in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events. Johannsí were the only gold medals won by the Cadets, but St. Thomas was well-represented on the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center podium in nearly all of the events,
accumulating a score of 334 points.

St. Thomas relay teams won silver in the 200 and 400-yard relays and a bronze in the first event of the meet, the 200-yard medley relay. Cadet junior Michael Berg won an individual bronze medal in the 500-yard freestyle.

Monticello was also a big winner, successfully defending all four of its 2011 titles. While helping his team win the silver medal with a score of 207 points, Monticello junior Paul Fair broke two Class A meet records. He swam a 1:45.20 in the 200-yard freestyle and a 49.35 in the 100-yard butterfly, defending his gold medals in each event. Fair and his brother Jack spearheaded two gold-medal efforts in defense of their 200 and 400-yard freestyle relay titles.

Several other swimmers defended titles Saturday. Junior Mitchell Foster of Breck/Blake won the 100-yard backstroke title once again. He also took home gold in the 200-yard individual medley. Foster and teammates Bob Blease, Clark Sun and Will Erickson defended their teamís 200-yard medley relay title, breaking a Class A state record in the process with a time of 1:34.83. Breck/Blake finished third overall in the team competition with a score of 196.

Tanner Alms of Red Wing defended his 500-yard freestyle title, as well. Others to take home gold medals Saturday were Quillan Oak of Detroit Lakes, who took first in the 100-yard breaststroke and Sartell-St. Stephenís Tanner Nordlund, who won the 1-meter diving championship. Nordlund, with a winning score of 359.34, finished ahead of silver medal-winning senior Bennett Woltjer of Willmar and Simley senior Carter Lange, who finished third.

--Luke Sleeper is a journalism student at the University of Minnesota.


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