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Tribune photo by Rand Middleton Willmar senior Michael McLain reaches out to Alexandria senior Kris Aaseng when the scoreboard showed the all-state swimmers finished in a rare tie for first place in 1:52.01 at the end of the 200-freestyle during a dual meet Thursday at Willmar High School.

Boys swimming & diving: High tied in Willmar pool

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WILLMAR  — The clock on the wall showed the numbers and didn’t blink.

All-state swimmers Michael McLain of Willmar and Kris Aaseng of Alexandria both reached the wall at the same moment — 1:52.01 — in the 200-freestyle.

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Aaseng trailed the entire race but never more than a half-body length. He began chipping away at McLain’s lead the last 50 yards and with half a lap left pulled even.

The crowd in the upper deck and the swimmers on the floor were all cheering. With the clock measuring 1/100th of a second ties are exceedingly rare, especially it seems for first place.

The tie in the mid-distance race was appropriate since McLain’s strength leans to sprinting while Aaseng excels in distance.

At the state meet last season at the University of Minnesota, McLain finished fourth (146.95) and Aaseng eighth in the 200. McLain finished seventh in the 100-free at State while Aaseng took fourth in the 500-free (4:51.69).

The Cardinals won the meet — that’s the Alexandria sub-species — 104-80.

Connor Haugen, Josh Kelly, Trent Flegel and McLain won the opening medley relay in a great race with a 1:47.65 to the Alex quartet’s time of 1:47.81.

McLain went 4-for-4 also winning the 200 free and anchoring the winning 400 relay. Willmar’s other win was diving with Kristof Jensen scoring 131.7.

Alexandria 104, Willmar 80

200 MEDLEY RELAY – (1) Willmar: Connor Haugen, Josh Kelly, Trent Flegel, Michael McLain; 1:47.65 (2) Alexandria 1:47.81  

200 FREESTYLE – (1) tie, Michael McLain, Wil; Kris Aaseng, Alx; both 1:52.01  (4) Chaz Fenske, W, 2;03.23

200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY – (1) Mark Kallevig, Alx, 2:14.25 (2) AJ Derouin, W, 2:18.97 (5) Darren Orsten, W, 2:47.07

50 FREESTYLE – (1) Eric Moe, Alx, 23.63 (2) Haugen 23.095 (4) Kelly 24.81

DIVING – (1) Kristof Jensen, W, 131.7 (2) Jimmy Pfeffer, Alx, 116.5 (3) Teza Harrison, W, 108.35 (4) Derek Peterson, W, 85.30

100 BUTTERFLY – (1) Flegel 59.18 (2) Kallevig 59.42 (4) Thomas Nilles-Melchert, W, 1:11.04

100 FREESTYLE – (1) McLain 51.00 (2) Eric Moe, Alx, 51.76 (5) Teman Miller, W, 56.87

500 FREESTYLE – (1) Aaseng, 5:07.85 (3) Derouin 5:33.76 (4) Fenzke 5:34.35

200 FREESTYLE RELAY – (1) Alexandria 1:35.75 (2) Willmar: Flegel, Kelly, Miller, Derouin; 1:37.52  (4) Willmar: Chris Muldrow, Charlie Hopmann, Ian Thompson, Fenske; 1:45.9

100 BACKSTROKE – (1) Zac Bartolomeo, A, 1:00.91 (2) Haugen 1:02.17 (5) Carter Shuldes, W, 1:14.48

100 BREASTSTROKE – (1) Elliot Jacobson, A, 1:07.64 ((2) Kelly 1:11.84 (4) Chris Muldrow 1:18.31

400 FREESTYLE RELAY – (1) Willmar: Flegel, Derouin, Haugen, McLain; 3:30.21 (2) Alexandria 3:31.31

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Rand Middleton

Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 

(320) 214-4334
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