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Raiders swimmers tie with Rangers in SEC meet

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Officially speaking, last week's meet with Stillwater was called Senior Night.

It was quickly changed by members of the team, though, to Tony Ring night. The change could be made for one very simple reason: Ring is the only senior on the roster for the Raiders.

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The lone senior was honored at the meet, then took the pool with his youthful teammates in an attempt to make the meet against the powerful Stillwater Ponies a close one.

That, though, was a near impossibility. The Ponies ended up winning 92-76.

"Stillwater is very good," Hastings coach Gerry Rupp said. "They've got a lot of good swimmers, so we used the meet as a way to simulate how sections will go. We swam our section lineup, and we had some pretty darn good swims."

Brandon Underwood was named the team's Swimmer of the Meet for his performances in the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle.

Ring, meanwhile, placed fourth in the 50 freestyle and fourth in the 100 freestyle. He also swam on two relays.

Results from the meet went like this:

200 medley relay -- team of Underwood, Colby Smith, Hayden Schmitt and Thomas Everson, first, 1:45.10; team of Kenny Benson, John Utecht, Elijah Reilly and Ring, fourth, 1:56.86.

200 freestyle -- Hunter Sassor, fourth, 2:00.34; Steven Kimmes, fifth, 2:11.55; Cole Scully, 2:14.85.

200 individual medley -- Smith, first, 2:01.95; Everson, third, 2:07.74; Schmitt, fifth, 2:15.53.

50 freestyle -- Underwood, second, 23.66; Ring, fourth, 24.51; Cole Tipler, 26.76.

100 butterfly -- Smith, first, 54.20; Schmitt, fifth, 1:02.11.

100 freestyle -- Underwood, second, 52.90; Ring, fourth, 55.34; Jack VanZee, 1:03.62.

500 freestyle -- Everson, first, 5:06.09; Scully, fifth, 6:00.66; Michael Everson, 6:13.93.

200 freestyle relay -- team of Sassor, Reilly, Kimmes and Ring, second, 1:41.92; team of Hagen, Everson, Tipler and Scully, 1:52.38.

100 backstroke -- Utecht, third, 1:02.94; Benson, fourth, 1:04.05; VanZee, sixth, 1:14.63.

100 breaststroke -- Sassor, first, 1:08.38; Tipler, fourth, 1:14.72; Reilly, 1:17.54.

400 freestyle relay -- team of Schmitt, Everson, Underwood and Smith, first, 3:28.29; team of Utecht, Benson, Kimmes and VanZee, 4:05.84.

Thursday

Hastings and Forest Lake tied on Thursday, 85-85.

The meet came down to the final event, and Hastings was holding a six-point lead.

The Raiders needed a second-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay to tie, which was going to be no small task. Rupp had used many of his top swimmers in two relays already, so he was relying on big performances from several swimmers to earn the tie.

He got just that.

Underwood, who had swam the 100 freestyle earlier in the night, had recorded a time of 52.9 seconds. He was going to need to do much better than that if the Raiders were to place second.

Underwood was behind by two seconds when he hit the water for the anchor leg. He finished in 50.1 seconds, beating the Forest Lake swimmer by four seconds and giving the Raiders second place.

"He was cooking," Rupp said. "We needed that, otherwise we would have lost." Also on the team were Ring, Scully and Benson.

The final was 85-85.

"It was a great meet," Rupp said. "We knew it was going to be a very tough meet."

Tipler was the Swimmer of the Meet for Hastings. He dropped 10 seconds in the 100 butterfly and three seconds in the 200 individual medley.

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Chad Richardson
Chad Richardson is the publisher and editor at the Hastings Star Gazette. He was the general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He previously worked at the Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.
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