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Swimmers topped by EC; host BRC Meet Feb. 1

Wildcat senior Isaac Dzubay swims in the 100 yard backstroke in the Cats' Big Rivers Conference dual meet against Eau Claire Alliance last Thursday at the high school pool. Dzubay finished third in the event with a time of 1 minute, 6.05 seconds. <i>Submitted photo</i>

Junior Tom Ramquist took first in the 200 yard freestyle and the Wildcats received a first place effort in the 200 freestyle relay, but perennial Big Rivers Conference powerhouse Eau Claire Alliance (Memorial/North) posted a 129-56 victory over River Falls Jan. 24 at the high school pool.

Ramquist posted a winning time of 1 minute, 54.2 seconds in the 200 free while the 200 freestyle relay team of Richard Leber, Monroe Maher, Nick Fugate and Ethan Larsen took first in 1:29.59.

"Eau Claire Alliance is easily the most difficult competitor in the conference," Wildcat coach Kirk Gednalske said. "The boys knew that we would have good competition at all levels and I think they rose to the occasion."

Ramquist also took second in the 100 butterfly with a time of 57.12 seconds and teamed up with Collin Nielsen, Alex Haskins and Isaac Dzubay for a second place time of 3:42.01 in the 400 freestyle relay.

Haskins contributed a third place time of 2:19.39 in the 200 individual medley and took fourth in the 50 freestyle in 24.88 seconds while Dzubay finished third in both the 100 freestyle (52.98) and the 100 backstroke (1:06.05).

Gednalske said one of the highlights of the night came in the 500 freestyle, where Larsen, Andrew Tiede and Garth Watson all turned in lifetime best swims. Larsen finished third in 5:50.59 and Tiede was fifth in 5:52.89 while Watson placed sixth in 6:02.77.

Watson also cut nine seconds off his previous best time in the 200 freestyle relay to finish fourth in 2:12.69.

Senior co-captain Austin Lynum achieved personal best times in three of his four events, including third place time of 1:15.28 in the 100 breaststroke.

Watson, Lynum, Fugate and Leber combined for a third place time of 2:00.57 in the 200 medley relay while TJ Baldini finished third in diving with a score of 164.05.

The Wildcats will host the Big Rivers Conference Championships this Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. at the high school.

"For some on the team this will be their last meet," Gednalske noted. "I think they will agree this season has been successful for every member of the team."

Bob Burrows

Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.

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