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Rozendaal shatters Willmar backstroke mark in state swimming prelims

MINNEAPOLIS -- Willmar senior Kyle Rozendaal rewrote a 20-year-old school record and all three Cardinal relays advanced during the Class A state swimming preliminaries on Friday at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center.

Rozendaal broke the 100-yard backstroke record held since 1991 by Chad Bloom. Seeded at 55.75 out of section, Rozendaal powered to a time of 54.48. He is seeded fourth in today's championship heat. Mitch Foster of Breck/Blake had the fastest preliminary time of 51.26.

All three Willmar relays will swim in the consolation heat. The medley relay of Rozendaal, Josh Kelly, Ben Fuglestad and Mason Kluver went 1:43.42 to qualify 12th. The Cardinals' 200 freestyle relay team of David Skonard, Kluver, Fuglestad and Michael McLain dropped 0.79, the 14th fastest time. The 400 freestyle relay team of Robert Brau, Nick Aaker, Rozendaal and McLain, was ninth, missing the championship heat by .02.

Montevideo's 200 medley relay team is a split-second behind Willmar in 13th place with Jack Spaeth, Aaron Erickson, Tommy Payne and Calvin Pender on board.

In diving on Thursday, Willmar's Bennett Woltjer stands seventh after eight dives with a score of 201.10. Chase Testa of Montevideo is eighth with a score of 195.15.

McLain is seventh in the 200 freestyle championship heat after a season-best time of 1:49.41. He missed out in the 100 butterfly with the 17th best time of 56.88.

In the 50 freestyle, Payne tied for 16th at 22.81, but then lost a swim-off to Kyle Palmer of Princeton, 22.49 to 22.90, for the remaining spot in the consolation heat. In the 100 freestyle, he finished 21st in 57.41.

Willmar's A.J. Derouin will swim in the 500 freestyle consolation heat today. He needed to beat out one other swimmer for the 16th spot, and did it by shaving more than four seconds off his seed time while finishing in a career-best 5:17.44.

Montevideo's Spaeth stands 12th in the 100 backstroke after a 58.09. Erickson placed 18th in the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.77.

Willmar's Kelly finished 22nd in the breaststroke in 1:07.24.

Eric Dahlseng of Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield, swims in today's championship heat of the breaststroke. The sophomore's time of 1:02.20 puts him in the seventh lane.

The Class A finals begin at noon today with consolation and championship heats in each event, and 15 divers doing three more dives.