Swimmers finish strong at Blaine Invite

Junior Stefan Albright took first in the 100-yard butterfly in last Thursday’s home meet against Roseville, which the Rangers won 93-85.


Personal-best times seem to be a trend in the swimming pool already this season for the Forest Lake boys.

It started during a 93-85 win at home against Roseville last Thursday when senior co-captain Joel Stomberg captured first in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:51.33, good for eighth-best time in Ranger history. Senior Joe Goossens, the other captain, took second in 1:54.86.

The Rangers took first in the 200-yard medley relay in 1:52.72 with the team of sophomores Mitchell Clayton, Michael Palo, Cameron Parrucci and junior Stefan Albright.

Another first-place relay finish came the 400-yard freestyle crew of sophomore Corey Bahr, junior Bryan Fleming, Stomberg and Goossens in 3:29.70, 11 seconds faster than last season.
Bahr took first in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:15.67 with Palo and Albright coming in third and fourth, respectively. Two Rangers earned their personal-bests in the event, senior Casey Jepsen and junior Brad Youngquist.

It was a one-two-three Ranger punch in the 50-yard freestyle. Fleming took first in 23.91, followed by personal-best swims by Parrucci in second with a time of 24.68 and ninth-grader Andrew Kelsey in third at 25.44.

Albright took first in the 100-yard butterfly in 57.82. Fleming took second with a time of 1:00.45, followed closely by Bahr with a fourth-place finish at 1:00.65. Three more Rangers- Youngquist, sophomore Tommy Brockman and eighth-grader Journey Roberge- earned personal-bests in the event.

Goossens won the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 51:20, four-tenths of a second away from his personal-best time set last season. Parrucci came in fourth in 54.39, a personal record. Sophomores Tim Brennhofer and Ryan Bildeaux also completed the race with personal-best times.

Stomberg showcased his endurance with a first-place finish in the 500-freestyle with a time of 5:15.33. Junior Andrew Bowes came in second at 5:32.69, followed by junior Adam Krummi in fourth place at 6:01.47.

The team of Bahr, Stomberg, Goossens and Fleming took first in the 200-yard relay in 1:35.31, which is in the 13th in school history.

Brennhofer and Palo took first and second in the 100-yard breaststroke, respectively. Brennhofer’s time of 1:09.47 was a personal-best for the sophomore and in the top-25 times in school history. Also earning personal records were Palo, Jepsen and Bildeaux.

Bowes sealed the team win by topping the 100-yard backstroke field. The junior finished in 1:04.43 and was followed with fourth and fifth-place finishes by Clayton and junior Jacob Gregorson, who earned personal-best times. Also setting a new personal record was sophomore Adam Sieber.

Overall, 16 Forest Lake swimmers set personal records, a good setup heading into a fourth-place finish out of 14 teams at Blaine on Saturday. Head coach Barbara Vailodash said the swimmers are just beginning to grow this season.

“I can see the swimmers with exceptional personal best times by the end of the season,” Vailodash said. “I can see a few school records being set as well as swimmers and relays qualifying for state.”

In the matchup against seven other section schools on Saturday, Forest Lake had 18 top-15 finishers including third and fourth place by Goossens (51.78) and Stomberg (51.96, a personal best) in the 100-yard freestyle.

Also taking third was the relay team of Bahr, Stomberg, Fleming and Goossens in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:34.44), and the same crew clinched third in the 400-free relay with a time of 3:29.59, 11 seconds faster than last season.

Other finishers included:
•200-yard freestyle: Stomberg (sixth place in 1:52.47) and Goossens (ninth place in 1:55.58).
•50-yard freestyle: Fleming (sixth place in 24:05) and Parrucci (15th in 24:85).
•100-yard butterfly: Albright (eighth in 58:68), Fleming (11th in 59:32) and Bahr (14th in 1:01.39).
•100-yard breaststroke: Palo (ninth in 1:10.56) and Brennhofer (13th in 1:10.91).
•100-yard backstroke: Bowes (13th in 1:04.85).
•500-yard freestyle: Bowes (eighth in 5:31)
•200-yard individual medley: Bahr (14th in 2:17.86).

Stillwater won the meet with 443 points, followed by Anoka with 319.5 and Hopkins at 195.5. Forest Lake was just two points behind third place with 193.5, despite having to give up diving points for lack of competitors. Vailodash said she was pleased with the results, and thinks Forest Lake could be a contender for a top-two spot in the section.

“I did not expect to finish that high originally, but after seeing all the fast times on Thursday night’s meet [against Roseville], I was hoping to place in the middle of the invitational thinking many of the teams that were attending would have more depth than us,” Vailodash said. “But even without diving points we were only points out of third and definitely within reach of Anoka by section time.”