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DL Boys Swimming and Diving - Lakers fall short in Mid-State Conference

Laker swimmer Jared Olson swims the 100-yard backstroke event last Friday afternoon. Brian Basham/Tribune1 / 2
Laker junior Michael Richter gets some air during the 100-yard breaststroke event during Friday's meet. Brian Basham/Tribune2 / 2

Three long-standing Mid-State Conference swimming records fell to the Detroit Lakes Laker boys Friday night inside the BTD Aquatics Center.

But despite winning eight of the 12 events and eclipsing a trio of conference records, the Park Rapids Panthers snapped DL's three-year Mid-State reign by outscoring the Lakers 456 to 439.

The Lakers won all three relay events, while senior Carter Krengel set the 100-yard freestyle mark with a 49.47, junior Isaac Clem set the new 50 freestyle record with a 23.00 flat time and the 200 freestyle relay team of Clem, senior Mike Okeson, junior Austin McCullough and Krengel raced for a new time of 1:34.36.

All three were at least 20 years old, as Krengel's 100-freestyle broke the one set in 1987, Clem's 50-freestyle in 1986 and the 200 relay in 1992.

"The guys swam great and they put everything into winning the conference championship again," said DL head coach Rian Heimark. "They put it all on the line, because they knew, if they didn't, it wouldn't have even been close to Park Rapids."

Depth was the key for Park Rapids, since they won only three events. The big swing in points came in the 500-freestyle, where the Panthers garnered four of the top five spots, while DL's highest finish was seventh.

"We knew coming in the 500 was going to hurt us," Heimark said. "But we did have an important sweep in the 100-freestyle by taking the top three spots.

"But it didn't quite get us where we wanted to."

Krengel led the way in the 100-freestyle with his record-breaking performance, while Clem was second and McCullough third.

Senior Mike Okeson also earned All-Conference honors by winning the 100 butterfly with a 1:02.17, while sophomore Jared Olson was victorious in the 200 individual medley with a 2:10.92.

The 200 medley relay of Olson, junior Mike Richter, Okeson and McCullough took that event with a time of 1:48.41.

Trailing by 17 points heading into the final event of the 400-freestyle relay, the Lakers snatched 16 points with a first-place finish at 1:07.94.

The foursome included Clem, Okeson, Olson and Krengel.

"The guys set a lot of personal best times, but we just ran out of top guys," Heimark said.

In diving, eighth grade Zane Freeman was second the Panther's Kalvin Hagan, while Jake Kempenich and Andrew Holzgrove finished third and fourth, respectively.

The Lakers are now gearing towards the Section meet, which is Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22-23.

Fourteen Lakers have qualified for the section meet, with six events having multiple swimmers or divers in them.

The top three in each event will qualify for the state meet, which also includes bettering the state cut times, which is the average of the 16th place finishers in each event over the last three years.

"Our goal is to qualify all 14 of our guys to Saturday, which is the Section finals," Heimark said.

The Class 1A state meet will be Feb. 28-March 2, at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center.

Laker results

Mid-State Conference meet in Detroit Lakes, Friday, Feb. 15.

Team results (*Mid-State record) - Park Rapids 456, Detroit Lakes 439, Perham 328.

DL event results - 200-yard medley relay: 1. DL A (Jared Olson, Mike Richter, Mike Okeson, Austin McCullough) 1:48.41....200 freestyle: 1. Carter Krengel 1:52.52; 6. Caleb Howard 2:07.99; 11. Austin Nelson 2:22.14; 12. Tristan Johnson 2:24.69...200 individual medley: 1. Jared Olson 2:10.92; 6. Spencer Heimark 2:43.62; 7. Diego Erickson 2:44.25...50 freestyle: *1. Isaac Clem 23.00; 3. A. McCullough 24.32; 8. Brady Labine 25.98; 9. Ethan McCullough 27.03...Diving: 2. Zane Freeman 359.10; 3. Jacob Kempenich 302.55; 4. Andrew Holzgrove 276.65; 8. Austin Gedrose 247.30...100 butterfly: 1. Okeson 1:02.17; 4. Richter 1:07.94; 8. Jake Anderson 1:08.94; 11. Erickson 1:16.82...100 freestyle: *1. Krengel 49.47; 2. Clem 52.32; 3. A. McCullough 54.43; 11. Tr. Johnson 1:01.52...500 freestyle: Heimark 6:21.67; 9. E. McCullough 6:44.47; 10. Quinn Bakken 7:24.73; 11. Tbone Johnson 7:48.11...200 freestyle relay: *1. DL A (Clem, Okeson, A. McCullough, Krengel) 1:34.26; 5. DL B (Nelson, Richter, Tr. Johnson, Anderson) 1:45.87...100 backstroke: 2. Olson 59.72; 7. Howard 1:10.25; 9. Labine 1:13.63; 11. Gedrose 1:21.02...100 breaststroke: 3. Richter 1:11.54; 7. Nelson 1:17.55; 9. Freeman 1:18.31; 12. Bakken 1:25.76...400 freestyle relay: 1. DL A (Clem, Okeson, Olson, Krengel) 3:34.19; 4. DL B (Labine, Anderson, E. McCullough, Howard) 4:00.68.

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