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Cullen headed back to state for Perham swimming

Jayden Cullen broke a school record and advanced to the state swimming meet for the third straight year Saturday in Alexandria at the Section 5A Championships. Eric Morken/Forum News Service

ALEXANDRIA — After Friday’s preliminaries, Perham head swimming coach Trent Swanson said, “Expect big things tomorrow,” and that is what the little team that could did at the Section 5A swimming and diving championships Saturday.

For a team that started the season with less than 10 participants and openly recruited more swimmers throughout the season, the Yellowjackets swam with pride during the regular season and made a number of impacts at the section meet, along with setting new school records.

Jayden Cullen advanced to his eighth consecutive state tournament, counting his numerous accolades in cross country, and will represent Perham at the state meet next weekend in two events - the 200 and 500-freestyle.

Cullen placed second in the 500 swimming 5:14.72 and was runner-up in the 200 with a time of 1:51.70, a new school record.

Cullen will make a state appearance in swimming for the third straight year.

The top five in the 500-freestyle: Ben Heller, Cullen, Justin Hoppe, Matthew Benson and Thomas Mykleseth, swam state qualifying times sending a quintet of 5A swimmers to state.

Ben Sullivan also placed in the 200 taking seventh with a personal best time of 1:58.93.

The fifth place 400-freestyle relay team of Cullen, Sullivan, Todd Brown, Jr., and Patrick Murphy also set a new school record swimming 3:30.26.

The 200-medley relay team of Luke Potts, Cullen, Brown, Jr., and Murphy placed seventh in a time of 1:54.54.

The 200-freestyle relay team of Potts, Andrew Cullen, Michael Beach and Sullivan placed eighth in 1:49.13.

Brown, Jr. and Potts placed 12th and 13th in the 200 IM. Brown, Jr. finished 11th in the 100-fly. Potts placed 11th in the 100-backstroke.

Murphy finished 13th in the 50-free, 12th in the 100-free.

Sullivan added a 16th place finish in the 100-free.

Perham earned a seventh place finish in the section with a team total of 151 points. Fergus Falls won the meet outscoring host Alexandria 390-361. Detroit Lakes finished fourth (258).

Section 5A Swimming and Diving Championships

TEAM RESULTS – 1. Fergus Falls – 390; 2. Alexandria – 361; 3. Melrose-Sauk Centre – 357; 4. Detroit Lakes – 258; 5. Bemidji – 240; 6. Park Rapids – 237; 7. Perham – 151; 8. Thief River Falls – 105; 9. Morris Area – 58  

200 Medley Relay

1. Fergus Falls 1:39.95

7. Perham (Luke Potts, Jayden Cullen, Todd Brown, Jr., Patrick Murphy) 1:54.54

200 Freestyle

1. Cal Mouritsen, Fergus Falls, 1:46.23

2. Jayden Cullen, Perham, 1:51.70

7. Ben Sullivan, Perham, 1:58.93

200 IM

1. Mark Kallevig, Alexandria, 2:03.59

12. Todd Brown, Jr., Perham, 2:24.27

13. Luke Potts, Perham, 2:24.28

50 Freestyle

1. Max Jacobson, Alexandria, 22.44

13. Patrick Murphy, Perham, 24.04

1m Diving

1. Reid Magnuson, Fergus Falls, 498.45

100 Butterfly

1. Joe Kitzman, Fergus Falls, 52.88

11. Todd Brown, Jr., Perham, 1:03.69

100 Freestyle

1. Cal Mouritsen, Fergus Falls, 46.78

12. Patrick Murphy, Perham, 51.91

16. Ben Sullivan, Perham, 54.04

500 Freestyle

1. Ben Heller, Melrose-Sauk Centre, 5:09.50

2. Jayden Cullen, Perham, 5:14.73

200 Freestyle Relay

1. Fergus Falls, 1:32.55

8. Perham (Luke Potts, Andrew Cullen, Michael Beach, Ben Sullivan) 1:49.13

100 Backstroke

1. Joe Kitzman, Fergus Falls, 53.84

11. Luke Potts, Perham, 1:03.83

100 Breaststroke

1. Elliot Jacobson, Alexandria

400 Freestyle Relay

1. Fergus Falls, 3:200.51

5. Perham (Jayden Cullen, Ben Sullivan, Todd Brown, Jr., Patrick Murphy) 3:30.26

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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