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Boys swimming: Cardinals set their sights high again

Alexandria's Nicolas Welle swims during last season's state meet on March 3, 2018. Welle is back as a freshman and all-state swimmer for the Cardinals this season to help lead a team with high hopes again. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

The Alexandria boys swimming and diving team proved itself as one of the top teams in Class A a year ago after a fourth-place finish at state. The Cardinals are aiming high again this season.

"We are really solid in all of our events," 40-year head coach Kathy Walker said. "Obviously, losing a state champion leaves a massive hole in our lineup, but we have some great candidates looking to improve on their state-meet finishes to score points."

The state title winner who Alexandria lost to graduation is current University of Minnesota freshman Nic Chromey. He won the 100 breaststroke in back-to-back seasons.

Zach Dummer and Jordon Baas join Chromey as three letter winners and all-state swimmers lost from last year's team.

"Thomas Williams transferred from Park Rapids and has done very well at the championship level," Walker said. "We are expecting him to fill some of our top spots in meets this year. Lots of the boys have been lifting weights and swimming club to prepare for the high school season."

Williams is a sophomore who competed in the 100-yard backstroke at the state meet a year ago. He finished 16th in a finals time of 58.19 seconds.

In the Central Lakes Conference, Walker said perennial-power Sartell-St. Stephen is again the favorite. The Sabres finished fifth at the Class A state meet last winter and won the CLC championship for a third straight season, with Brainerd coming in second and Alexandria third.

The Sabres also join Park Rapids as being two of the top programs for Alexandria to contend with come the postseason.

The Cardinals return all-state swimmers in Nick Olson, Patrick Chromey and Nicolas Welle to help them out. They will lead a group that Walker has a lot of confidence in.

"After having such a great high school season last year, we are looking to improve our performances this year," Walker said. "I believe we can place in the top five at the state meet this year."

2018-19 ALEXANDRIA BOYS SWIMMING AND DIVING

SENIORS - Geoffrey King, Jaymeson Wolkow, Nick Olson, Patrick Chromey

JUNIORS - Jameson Molesworth

SOPHOMORES - Devan Swerman, Ethan Johnson, Garrett Maras, Jackson Jahnke, Jager Gange, Matt McKay, Thomas Williams, Torrey Olson-Rodel

FRESHMEN - Anthony Hoyt, Caden Kavanagh, Carter Holm, Coltan Koehn, Erik Schabel, Joel Brault, Matt Mayer, Nicolas Welle

EIGHTH-GRADE - Erik Reineke, Logan Tung

COACHES - Head coach - Kathy Walker, 40th season, third season in Alexandria; Assistant coaches - Steve Kluver, Aaron Rooney (diving)

ALEXANDRIA BOYS SWIMMING AND DIVING SCHEDULE

(Home meets at Discovery MS)

Dec. 6 vs. Melrose Area, 6 p.m.

Dec. 13 at Willmar, 6 p.m.

Dec. 18 vs. St. Cloud Apollo, Rocori, 6 p.m.

Jan. 3 vs. Brainerd, 6 p.m.

Jan. 5 at Minneapolis Southwest Invite, TBD

Jan. 10 at Fergus Falls, 6 p.m.

Jan. 15 at St. Cloud Tech, 6 p.m.

Jan. 19 Section 5A True Team (at Sartell), 10 a.m.

Jan. 24 at Sauk Rapids-Rice, 6 p.m.

Jan. 31 vs. Sartell-St. Stephen, 6 p.m.

Feb. 9 Central Lakes Conference Championship (at Alexandria), 10 a.m.

Feb. 22 Section 5A meet (at Sartell), 5 p.m.

Feb. 23 Section 5A meet (at Sartell), 5 p.m.

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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