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PREP SWIMMING: Stingrays compete in regional swim meet

MINNEAPOLIS -- When swimming in an elite meet with a field of over 1,600 swimmers from nine different states, simply finishing better than the place that you are seeded is a huge accomplishment.

At the Midwest Regional Swim Meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center over the weekend, the six Worthington YMCA Stingrays' swim team members competing combined to finish better than their seed in 12 out of 15 events, making for a successful finale to their season.

"The swimmers were very pleased with their individual performances and were happy to complete their season on a high note," Stingrays' head coach Donna Damm said.

All six of the Worthington swimmers recorded a personal-best time at the meet in at least one of their races, and the two relay teams also recorded personal bests on the day.

Cameron Jenson led the way for the Stingrays by swimming personal best times in five of his six individual races in the boys' 11-12 age group, placing higher than his seed in four events. He finished a single place behind his seeding in his other two events.

Jenson's best finish was 23rd place in the boys' 50-yard butterfly in 32.67 seconds, beating his personal best by 1.54 seconds and finishing 13 places above his seeding.

He finished 14 places above his seeding in the boys' 100-yard freestyle, placing 32nd in a time of 1:05.36, beating his personal best by 2.48 seconds. He was 10 positions ahead of his seeding in the boys' 50-yard freestyle, placing 30th in a field of 68 swimmers in a time of 28.62.

Jenson placed 31st (seeded 35th) in the boys' 50-yard breaststroke in a time of 39.97, 31st (seeded 30th) in the boys' 200-yard freestyle in a time of 2:25.36 and 37th (seeded 36th) in the boys' 100-yard individual medley in a time of 1:16.16.

Madison Neuberger was tied for the biggest improvement based on her seeding on the day for the Stingrays, finishing 45th in the girls' 11-12 50-yard freestyle after entering the race seeded 66th. She finished firmly in the top third of the field of 155 swimmers by completing the race in a time of 29.65, beating her personal best by 0.38 seconds.

Neuberger was also in the top half of the field in her other race, the girls' 11-12 50-yard breaststroke, in which she finished 43rd in a field of 86 swimmers with a time of 39.16.

Tim Skog matched Neuberger by improving on his seeding by 21 places by finishing 45th in the boys' 15-18 100-yard freestyle. His time of 57.74 was 1.06 seconds better than his previous personal best. Skog improved on his seeding by six places in the boys' 15-18 50-yard freestyle, finishing 53rd in a field of 83 swimmers.

Matt Sorensen also swam the boys' 15-18 100-yard freestyle, beating his seed by five places with a 67th-place finish in 26.51, which was 0.08 seconds better than his previous personal best.

Sarah Janssen entered the girls' 13-14 50-yard freestyle seeded 89th, but finished in 78th place in the field of 137 swimmers with a time of 29.45, her personal best time by 0.32 seconds.

Adrian Manzo also improved on his seeding by 11 places, finishing 53rd in the boys' 13-14 50-yard freestyle in a time of 27.35, beating his personal best by 0.28 seconds.

The boys' 18 & under 200-yard medley relay team of Skog, Sorensen, Jenson and Manzo finished right on their seeding with a 21st-place finish in 2:10.09, and the same four swimmers finished 19th in the boys' 18 & under 200-yard relay event.

Oliver Wolyniec was originally slotted to be on both relay teams, but he had to withdraw from the meet after suffering a broken arm the week before while playing basketball in Sioux Falls.

The meet lasted nine hours and 45 minutes on Saturday and six hours and 45 minutes on Sunday. A total of 70 YMCA and USS Swim Club teams from Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Tennessee competed at the meet, with swimmers ranging from five to 18 years old.