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Lakers defend home waters

Laker Jared Olson takes a breath during the 500-yard freestyle Saturday. Olson finished in seventh place with a mark of 6:13.11.1 / 4
Brady Otto dives in during his leg of the 400-yard freestyle relay Saturday.2 / 4
Laker Vaughn Johnson swims the 50-yard freestyle Saturday during the DL Invite inside the BTD Aquatics Center. Johnson finished ninth with a time of 26.97.3 / 4
DL's Brady Eilertson takes to the 100-yard breaststroke Saturday, finishing eighth with a mark of 1:20.52.4 / 4

By the time the diving event rolled around during the Detroit Lakes boys' swimming and diving invite Saturday, the Lakers started having an inkling they could win their own meet.

By the time the diving event was over, they knew it could happen.

The Lakers defended their own water inside the BTD Aquatics Center, winning with a score of 358, ahead of second-place Bemidji with 302 points and Perham with a mark of 285.

"We wanted to win the meet, but we definitely didn't expect to," said DL head coach Rian Heimark. "Everybody looked good. It was a key win for us."

The Lakers locked their sights on first place after DL finished with the top four slots in diving, led by junior Jon Melgaard with 388.30 points.

He was followed by Justin George, Aaron Colby and Pat Rethwisch.

"Taking one through four in diving was key and starting the meet off with a win in the 200 medley relay, then taking the next two events put us in a good position," Heimark said.

The 200-medley relay team of Quillan Oak, Cody Johnson, Brandon Olson and Cody Okeson set the tone for the victorious day by winning the event by just under three seconds over Perham.

Oak followed that up with a meet record of 1:51.61 in the 200 freestyle, while Olson won the 200 individual medley with a 2:19.25. "Brandon also took second in the butterfly, which were both personal best times (including his 200 IM time)," Heimark said.

The Lakers' depth also provided important contributions, as the younger swimmers captured a bevy of third through sixth place finishes.

Oak also set a meet record in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:06.66.

The DL 400 freestyle foursome of Okeson, Olson, Travis King and Oak set a season-best time of 3:37.23 for second, behind Bemidji (3:25.19).

"Cody Okeson had a couple of good races, too, in the 100 freestyle (third) and 50 (fourth)," the DL coach said. "Our B relays also had good days by placing well and backing up our lead relays."

The Lakers will be in Bemidji Friday for a 5:30 p.m. start and will host Park Rapids Tuesday, before preparing to host the section True Team meet Saturday, starting at 11 a.m. inside the BTD Aquatics Center.

Laker results

Detroit Lakes Invite, Saturday, Jan. 9.

Team results -- Detroit Lakes 358, Bemidji 302, Perham 285, Thief River Falls 267, Park Rapids 159.

DL event results -- 200 medley relay: 1. DL A (Quillan Oak, Cody Johnson, Brandon Olson, Cody Okeson) 1:51.96; 6. DL B (Aaron Colby, Jon Melgaard, Justin George, Brady Eilertson) 2:10.65; 12. DL C (Antonio Valdez, Ben Thompson, Jacob Kempenich, Isaac Clem) 2:42.38; 15. DL D (DJ Cahlin, Austin Nelson, Tristan Johnson, Austin McCullough) 2:57.12...200 freestyle: 1. Oak 1:51.61; 6. Travis King 2:03.85; 10. Jared Olson 2:15.27; 14. Brady Otto 2:23.87...200 individual medley: 1. B. Olson 2:19.25; 4. C. Johnson 2:30.54...50 freestyle: 4. C. Okeson 25.07; 6. Carter Krengel 26.04; 9. Vaughn Johnson 26.97; 10. M. Okeson 28.08; 15. Clem 28.45; 20. George 29.16; 21. Valdez 29.47; 24. Pat Rethwisch 30.47; 25. Ben Thompson 31.03; 32. Kempenich 32.85; 45. T. Johnson 37.60; 49. Austin Nelson 40.72; 51. Ryan Wendt 52.60...Diving: 1. Melgaard 388.30; 2. George 290.30; 3. Colby 268.65; 4. Rethwisch 268.10...100 butterfly: 2. B. Olson 1:01.57; 6. King 1:10.03...100 freestyle: 3. C. Okeson 55.47; 8. Eilertson 1:00.36; 10. Otto 1:01.53; 19. V. Johnson 1:08.23; 22. Clem 1:09.58; 29. Kempenich 1:15.23; 35. Cahlin 1:24.51...500 freestyle: 1. Oak 5:06.66; 7. J. Olson 6:13.11; 13. Ben Thompson 8:19.43...200 freestyle relay: 5. DL A (Krengel, Eilertson, Melgaard, King) 1:44.34; 9. DL C (Clem, Thompson, Kempenich, Valdez) 2:03.72; 15. DL D (T. Johnson, Nelson, Wendt, Cahlin) 2:53.83...100 backstroke: 4. C. Johnson 1:10.36; 5. Colby 1:14.40; 11. Valdez 1:29.62; 17. T. Johnson 1:52.45...100 breaststroke: 3. Melgaard 1:16.68; 8. Eilertson 1:20.52; 12. Krengel 1:23.80; 15. M. Okeson 1:27.34...400 freestyle relay: 2. DL A (C. Okeson, B. Olson, King, Oak) 3:37.23; 7. DL B (J. Olson, Otto, Krengel, C. Johnson) 4:14.23; 12. DL C (A. Colby, Rethwisch, George, M. Okeson) 4:46.69.

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.