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Laker junior Melissa Paakh takes in some air during the 100 yard butterfly event at the Class A state swimming and diving championships at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center on Friday afternoon. (Brian Basham/DL Newspapers)

Paakh poised for state title

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MINNEAPOLIS - Laker swimmer Melissa Paakh is poised to be the first ever girl's state swimming champion for Detroit Lakes at the Class A State Swimming and Diving Meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center. The junior finished the 100 yard butterfly event preliminary in first place in a time of 56.47, an automatic all American qualifying time. Her winning time was more than a second ahead of the second place finish of 57.88 by Audrey Kumm of Hutchinson.

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Swimming coach Carol McCarthy warned that both the second and third place finishers are capable of trimming two seconds off their qualifying time in the finals.

"It will be an exciting final," she said.

Teammate Libby Larson competed in the 500 yard freestyle prelims, finishing in 17th place in a time of 5:29.75, 1/800th of a second short of qualifying for Saturday's finals.

Diver Shayna Dugger finished Wednesday's diving preliminaries in 9th place with a score of 234.15. Bre Halbur missed qualifying for Saturday's diving finals, finishing in 17th place with a score of 221.60.

The Class A finals for all events begin at noon Saturday at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center in Minneapolis.

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