BRAINERD – this was a match the Brainerd Warriors had circled on their schedule.
And they came swimming on Thursday, September 15 at the Brainerd Aquatic Center. It’s a good thing because so are the St. Cloud Tech Tigers.
In Brainerd’s first real competition of the season, the Warriors held off the Tigers to go undefeated with a 108-78 win.
The intensity was apparent early on as spirited Warriors head coach Dan Anderson powered his 200-yard medley relay team to the top spot in 1:54.87. It was the first time the quartet of Mya Tautges, Avery Duerr, Mariah Alderson and Isabelle Ploof had swum together in this 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 it was so Tech wouldn’t know what we had because we were kind of watching this encounter. It’s the first time we’ve put it together and on paper we think we could go to 1:56, but on paper that doesn’t mean anything. Then they went out and went 1:54 and there is room for improvement.
Avery Duerr couldn’t see her coach cheering on the edge of the pool, but she knew it was a great race.
“I thought this win was really important because we really wanted to beat Tech,” Duerr said. “We wanted to win this relay and make our B relay second. I just wanted to go as fast as possible.
“It was a little more fun tonight because it was intense.”
Tautges added wins in the 50 and 100 freestyle and she also anchored first place in Brainerd’s 200 freestyle relay of Gabby Chalupsky, Ploof and Scarlett Anderson at a time of 1:45.5
“It’s also a really good stint, and we haven’t implemented it yet this season,” Anderson said. “Being at 1:45 right now is a good place to be.”
Brainerd divers did what they did all season long. Izzy Olson posted a first-place score of 255.75. It is his fourth consecutive victory. Evie Helsene was second with 220.2 points and Brenna Deason was third with 204.5.
Avery Duerr wrapped up Brainerd’s lead by winning the 100 breaststroke in 1:11.93.
“I go out and swim as hard as I can,” Duerr said. “Then I just try to stay as strong as possible in the last 50 yards. I didn’t feel comfortable.”
After three technical wins, Brainerd got second, third and fourth and that was the game plan for the Central Lakes Conference duel.
“The girls really stepped up and we challenged them a 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 could have almost won all the events tonight, except maybe the breaststroke, the 200m freestyle relay and the diving. I think we had them covered. But every other event, they had the potential to win and we had to go 2-3-4 just to get past them.
“The kids pulled together and we won a few races that we probably didn’t expect.”
Brainerd 108, St Cloud Tech 78
200 QN 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
200m 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 IM: 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 free: 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 fly: 1-Kierstyn Nelson (Tech) 1:01.74, 2-Iske 1:03.54, 3-Alderson 1:06.38, 4-Larson 1:08.54
100 free: 1-Tautges 56.29, 3-Ploof 57.63, 4-Chalupsky 58.36
500m free: 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
400m 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 can be reached at 218-855-5856 or [email protected] Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop.
Key: Mya Tautges was a double winner and Brainerd won two of the three relays
Conference: Brd 3-0, Tech 3-1
Globally: Brd 4-0, Tech 3-1
Next: Brainerd at West Fargo Invites 9 a.m. on Saturday, September 17.