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Stingrays bring home 3 first-place finishes

The Minnewaska/Morris Area Stingrays traveled to Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato, Feb. 6. The Stingrays were limited by illness to only 13 swimmers and did not have entrants in two of the 11 varsity events. The Stingrays lost the varsity competition 96-65. However, the swimmers succeeded in making 10 time cuts and earned three first places in individual events.

Leading off the meet, the Stingrays were able to field three varsity medley relay teams for the first time this season. The A team of Jesse Duhn (29.73 backstroke), Cass Kreitlow (34.57 breaststroke), Marty Williams (31.81 butterfly), and Jeremy Pederson (26.82 freestyle) took third with a time of 2:02.93. The B team of Auston Schieler (34.01 backstroke), Preston Moser (39.13 breaststroke), Jeff Knobloch (50.57 butterfly), and Felix Hartmann (31.61 freestyle) swam for a fifth-place time of 2:35.62.

In the 200 freestyle, the Stingrays were led by David Lemke. This was David's first attempt at this length this season and his 2:07.13 was a career-best time for him and qualified him for sections. He was followed by Austin Schieler's 2:12.24, a significant 3.57-second cut for him. This was also Austin's career-best time and left him just 0.24 seconds short of the section time cut. Pederson pulled in with a time of 2:21.62.

In the sprinter's 50-yard freestyle, the Stingrays were led by Stefan Lemke's career-best 25.26, which also qualified Stefan for sections in this event. He was followed by David Lemke's 26.40 and Marcus Ruck's 30.00.

In diving, Kreitlow continued his strong senior season by racking up first place with a total of 188.8 points. He was followed by Williams' 141.5 and Carl Walllin's 109.00

In the 100-yard freestyle, Duhn took another first place for the Stingrays with a time of 56.00. He was followed by Williams' season-best 1:06.85 and Logan Spader, who in his first attempt at this distance, came in with a 1:14.39.

Stefan Lemke almost made up two body lengths in the last 100 yards and came in with a career-best 5:23.39 in the 500-yard freestyle.

In the sprinter's 200-yard freestyle relay, the Stingrays' A team of Williams (29.90), Pederson (26.87), David Lemke (25.86), and Stefan Lemke (27.68) took second with a time of 1:50.28. The B team of Ruck (29.68), Knobloch (36.85), Hartmann (32.97), and Moser (33.67) took fourth with a time of 2:13.17.

In the 100 backstroke, Duhn took another first place with a time of 1:03.19. He was followed by Schieler's 1:09.10, a cut of 2.90 seconds. This time qualifies Austin for sections.

In the 100 breaststroke, the Stingrays were led by Pederson's first attempt in this event, with a time of 1:26.21. He was followed by Spader's 1:26.34.

In the final event of the meet, the 400-yard freestyle relay, the Stingrays' team of Schieler (1:00.68), David Lemke (1:00.44), Stefan Lemke (1:03.13), and Duhn (55.78) came in with a time of 4:00.03.

In the JV 200-yard medley relay, the team of Wallin (35.94 backstroke), Spader (39.39 breaststroke), Jamie Vangness (41.58 butterfly), and Ruck (29.62 freestyle) swam for a second-place time of 2:26.53. Vangness then went back in the pool for his first attempt in the 200-yard JV freestyle and came in with a 2:59.70.

In the JV 50-yard freestyle, all three Stingrays swam for season-best times: Hartmann at 33.00, Moser at 33.29, and Knobloch at 36.02. In the JV 100-yard freestyle, Vangness finished with a 1:23.34 and Knobloch cut 6.86 seconds to come in with a season-best time of 1:24.75.

The JV 400-yard freestyle rely team of Hartmann (1:17.98), Wallin (1:09.88), Vangness (1:22.60), and Spader (1:28.20) finished with a time of 5:13.66.