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Willmar's Tinklenberg seeded among leaders in two events at state

MINNEAPOLIS -- Willmar senior Alissa Tinklenberg is seeded in the top five in both the 500 freestyle and the 100 backstroke heading into Friday's Class A swimming preliminaries.

At 1:00.27, the veteran of five state meets already is fourth fastest in the 100 backstroke. The low time of 58.83 was logged in the section by defending champion Taylor Foster of Breck, whose winning time a year ago was a meet-record 56.72.

Tinklenberg, who has won 18 state medals starting in seventh grade, was third a year ago (5:14.62) in the 500-yard freestyle. She has the fourth-fastest seed time at 5:17.88. Tinklenberg will swim in the fourth heat in the lane next to her Central Lakes Conference rival, Sartell freshman Marissa Wood (seed 5:09.05). Wood won last year in a meet-record time of 5:02.05.

The state meet begins Thursday with diving preliminaries at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center. Class A swimming is at noon both Friday and Saturday.

Willmar and Litchfield will both compete in the opening race on Friday. Twenty-eight quartets qualified in the medley relay. The Dragons at 1:55.72 and Willmar at 1:55.93 will each need strong races to reach the consolation heat. Sixteen relays come in with a sub-1:55 time.

Litchfield eight-grader Marissa Warren, a relay member, will also swim the individual medley (2:19.12) and the butterfly (1:01.11). Her chances of racing the second day appear best in the butterfly, where her time sets up 15th.

The Dragons also qualified sophomore Shelbie Walsh in diving. Her 268 score for 11-dives at the section meet in Willmar ranks her 29th.