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Big strides for Perham/NYM swimmers at Detroit Lakes

Perham/New York Mills swimmer Colton Ditterich takes a quick breath during the 50 freestyle race against Detroit Lakes. Jason Groth/FOCUS1 / 2
Perham/New York Mills swimmer Kyle Swanson hits the turn and begins the second leg of the backstroke portion of the individual medley. Jason Groth/FOCUS2 / 2

The Perham/New York Mills boys swimming team celebrated its final dual meet of the season with parents and senior night when they competed with Detroit Lakes on Jan. 30.

The meet with Detroit Lakes is the closest meet for the Yellowjacket swimmers during the season and is a rare opportunity for fans to see them in action. While the Lakers came away with a 105-67 victory, the young Yellowjackets team continued to make big strides in the pool as it heads towards sections.

“We had a really good meet. We had some real fun time drops,” Perham/NYM head coach Trent Swanson said. “Gavin Kehoe had a great evening in his individual events and our relays had some great splits.”

Swanson said the team can see the light at the end of the tunnel. They have the Last Chance Invite before the Mid-State Conference meet and the section championships.

Tony Pi

“The team concept is really coming together, they know what it’s about and they are believing in it,” Swanson said. “It was just fun. It’s our last dual and it was really good. Aaron Wegscheid had an impressive 20-second drop in the 500 and we had a couple of kids qualify for sections.

“Duncan Skorup had a good night in the breaststroke and Kyle Swanson qualified in the breaststroke. They see the end is near and they are striving for what they need to get done.”

The Yellowjackets continued to cut time as a team. They dropped 80.43 seconds as a group and set 32 new personal records as a team. One of the key ingredients for the success of the team has come from the leadership provided from Wegscheid.

“They raise each other up and bring each other down. They really have been picking each other up,” Swanson said. “Aaron is the leader and he sets the bar high. We have a big crop of juniors and when they race with Aaron, the whole team goes with him and it’s a fantastic team environment.”

Jett Karels

The Yellowjackets had two new members complete the Iron Man Challenge. The Iron Man is where a swimmer completes all eight individual events during a season. Jonah Bieger and Max George completed the challenge, joining Gavin Kehoe, Jett Karels and Kyle Swanson in completing that feat.

The Yellowjackets won the 400 freestyle relay behind the swimming of Kehoe, Tony Pi, Kevin Swanson and Duncan Skorup, finishing at 4:20.51. The 200 medley relay team of Wegscheid, Skorup, Kehoe and Colton Ditterich came in second at 2:02.90. Kyle Swanson was second in the 200 medley at 2:32.73, while Kehoe took second in the 100 butterfly at 1:08.66. Wegscheid was second in the 500 at 5:48.98, while Kehoe was second in the 100 backstroke at 1:13.85.  Skorup was first in the 100 breaststroke at 1:16.52, while Kyle Swanson was second at 1:19.93.

The Yellowjackets are back in the pool on Feb. 3 with the Last Chance Invitational at Park Rapids, beginning at 6 p.m.

Detroit Lakes 105, Perham/NY Mills 67200 Medley relay1 DL A 1:56.54 (Gulon, Bakken, Lindsey, Olson)2 PNYM A 2:02.90 (Wegschied, Skorup, Kehoe, Ditterich)3 DL B 2:09.54 (Zurn, Oakes, Bellefeuille, Metelak)4 PNYM B 2:10.56 (Swanson, Swanson, Pi, Karels )200 Freestyle1 Strawsell, Tucker DL 2:00.142 Kitzmann, Gabe DL 2:00.773 Wegscheid, Aaron PNYM 2:07.914 Gulon, John DL 2:08.605 Pi, Tony PNYM 2:48.19200 IM1 Olson, Tanner DL 2:22.922 Swanson, Kyle PNYM 2:32.733 Kitzmann, Elijah DL 2:33.614 Zurn, Jackson DL 2:39.225 George, Max PNYM 3:06.4450 Freestyle1 Kitzmann, Gabe DL 25.712 Bellefeuille, Josten DL 26.393 Skorup, Duncan PNYM 26.524 Lindsey, Landon DL 27.075 Swanson, Kevin PNYM 27.781m Diving1 Metelak, Cole DL 194.152 Johnson, Edward DL 190.153 Weaver, Zane DL 138.80100 Butterfly1 Lindsey, Landon DL 1:00.772 Kehoe, Gavin PNYM 1:08.663 Bellefeuille, Josten DL 1:11.264 Pi, Tony PNYM 1:24.355 Bieger, Jonah PNYM 1:51.14100 Freestyle1 Parzyck, Lance DL 53.922 Bakken, Garrett DL 1:02.043 Swanson, Kevin PNYM 1:03.554 Karels, Jett PNYM 1:04.115 Steinke, Simon DL 1:04.14500 Freestyle1 Strawsell, Tucker DL 5:14.022 Wegscheid, Aaron PNYM 5:48.98200 Freestyle relay1 DL A 1:42.34 (G. Kitzmann, Parzyck, Olson, Strawsell)2 DL B 1:50.63 (Gulon, Bakken, Bellefeuille, E. Kitzmann)3 PNYM A 1:52.78 (Swanson, Ditterich, Karels, Wegscheid)4 DL C 2:01.95 (Steinke, Bunn, Van Offelen, Zurn)5 PNYM B 2:57.00 (Spencer, Frost, Rohloff, Becker)100 Backstroke1 Gulon, John DL 1:04.922 Kehoe, Gavin, PNYM 1:13.853 Kitzmann, Elijah DL 1:14.914 Bieger, Jonah PNYM 1:39.055 Frohling, Quentin PNYM 2:06.78100 Breaststroke1 Skorup, Duncan PNYM 1:16.522 Swanson, Kyle PNYM 1:19.933 Karels, Jett PNYM 1:28.00--- Olson, Tanner DL X1:12.89--- Parzyck, Lance DL X1:13.41--- Bakken, Garrett DL X1:16.75400 Freestyle relay1 PER A 4:20.51 (Kehoe, Pi, Swanson, Skorup)--- DL A X3:50.63 (Strawsell, Lindsey, Parzyck, G. Kitzmann)--- DLKS-MN B X4:20.28 (Zurn, Van Offelen, Bunn, E. Kitzmann)
Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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