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Willmar to host section swim meet today, Saturday

WILLMAR -- Willmar's prospects aren't as bright as some years for advancing individuals to state.

The Cardinals will be swimming and diving in their home pool Thursday at the Section 3A preliminaries starting at 5 p.m.

Swimmers and divers from 10 schools, including Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield and Montevideo, will compete.

The two-stage meet continues on Saturday in Willmar with diving prelims at 11 a.m. and the finals in all events at 3 p.m.

"We'll need a good day," said coach Carl Shuldes, commenting on Willmar's chances for gaining state slots. "Alissa Tinklenberg is our only swimmer under the state cut, in both the 500 free and backstroke."

Tinklenberg, a senior, is seeded second in both. She's reached the state meet every year since seventh grade and has won 18 medals in all at state.

Another swimmer to watch is Audrey Kumm. The Hutchinson junior set Class A state meet records last November in both the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly.

Willmar's 200 medley relay is seeded fourth and needs to drop three seconds to gain an automatic berth.

Hutchinson, which finished fourth in the 2008 state meet, is the team to beat. Marshall and Orono also look strong.

After placing fifth at section last year, the Cardinals went on to finish 10th in the state meet. Cassie Yoakum, a Willmar junior, is the sixth seed in the backstroke.

Junior Kaytlin Borg of Litchfield is seeded fifth in the 50 freestyle, as is senior Hannah Walsh in the breaststroke, while Dragons' eighth-grader Marissa Warren is sixth in the butterfly.

The state meet runs Nov. 19-21 at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center.

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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