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Swimming and Diving: Willmar swims free and easy in prelims

Tribune photo by Rand Middleton The Willmar Senior High School pool bulged to capacity with over 460 spectators plus swimmers, coaches and managers representing 15 Section 3A boys teams Friday. The field includes Fergus Falls, the 2011 Class A state champion. Swimming and dive finals start at 3 p.m. today.

WILLMAR -- The host Willmar Cardinals, showing strength in the freestyle events, posted the fastest time in the in the 200 Freestyle Relay on Friday night during the Section 3A Swimming and Diving Meet.

Finals are today with the first race scheduled for 3 p.m.

Swimming on Willmar's sprint-relay foursome are Ben Fuglestad, Connor Haugen, Nick Aaker and anchor Michael McLain. The quartet shaved nearly two seconds off seed down to 1:31.74.

Aaker, McLain and A.J. Derouin are top six in the 200 Freestyle; the top four individuals and relays go, plus time standard.

The Montevideo 200 Medley Relay leads after time 1:41.66 with Jack Speath, Tyler Gort, Tommy Payne and Adam Peters. Speath is No. 2 in the 200 Individual Medley (2:07.25) behind Cal Mouritsen of Fergus Falls (2:07.27). Eric Dahlseng of Dassel-Cokato/Litchfield is third (2:08.88).

Montevideo's Tommy Payne had a good first day swimming a 22.14 in the 50 Freestyle, the second-best time. Payne came back after the break and swam a No. 1 time of 48.45 in the 100 Freestyle, nearly two second up on second place. Willmar's McLain is fourth.

Monte has the third-best time in the 200 Freestyle Relay; Spaeth, who swims the third leg, finished third in the next event, the 100 Backstroke. Dahlseng and Monte's Tyler Gort are in the top 4 in the 100 Breaststroke.

Willmar stands second in the 400 Freestyle Relay after clocking 3:24.37 with McLain, Derouin, Haugen and Aaker.

"We had a great day," summed up Willmar head coach Carl Shuldes.

Diving prelims are at 11 a.m. today.

Fifteen Class A swim programs are competing at the Willmar High School.