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Breck/Blake wins 5th consecutive Class 1A state title

By JOEL RIPPEL, Star Tribune, 03/20/21, 10:15PM CDT


Juniors Charlie Crosby and James Pan each won two events to help lead the Bearstangs to a dominating team victory.

James Pan of Breck/Blake competed Saturday in the Class1A swimming state meet at the University of Minnesota. He won the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke titles with Class A state meet records. Photo: Minnesota State High School League

Fueled by four record-setting performances, Breck/Blake earned its fifth consecutive Class 1A boys’ swimming and diving state title in dominating fashion Saturday at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center.

Breck/Blake juniors Charlie Crosby and James Pan each won two individual events as the Bearstangs won with a total of 418.5 points.

Alexandria was second with 250 points and Sartell-St. Stephen was third with 237.

“At the beginning of the season we didn’t know if there would be a state meet,” Breck/Blake coach Michelle Carlson said, “so we were excited when we found out there would be a state meet. These guys love to compete and to race. They’ll show up anywhere and compete.”

After state meet plans were announced, Carlson said the team emphasized “the process. Every day is different. There are hard days and easy days. We use visualization every day. We started having shorter practices in the water, but we stuck with the visualization.”

With the four records and just missing records on in two other events, Carlson said the Bearstangs “surprised me and all of our coaches with the records tonight. We’re happy and excited for them and very proud of them.”

Crosby, who has committed to swim for the University of Texas, defended his state titles in the 50 freestyle and the 100 backstroke. In the 50 freestyle, Crosby won in a all-time state meet record of 19.87. He won the event last year with a Class 1A state meet record of 20.31.

In the 100 backstroke, Crosby won in 47.68, just .03 seconds off the 1A state meet record and .16 seconds off the all-time state record.

Pan won the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke titles with 1A state meet records. In the 200 individual medley, Pan swam a 1:47.90. In the 100 breaststroke he had a time of 54.16.

Pan was runner-up to Minnehaha Academy’s Andrew Karpenko in both of those events at last year’s state meet.

The Bearstangs’ 200 medley relay team of Crosby, Pan, Mitchell Brown and Charlie Egeland won with a time of 1:31.67 — just .41 seconds off the Class 1A state meet record.

“We were going after a school record in that event. That really set the tone for the whole evening,” Carlson said. “I think that gave James confidence going into the 200 IM. Charlie was amazing in the 50 freestyle.”

Crosby and Pan teamed with Brown and eighth-grader Henry Webb for a victory in the 200 freestyle relay in a Class A state meet record time of 1:23.60.

Austin senior Logan Kelly won the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:41.48. Webb was second in 1:42.56. Kelly finished runner-up to Pan in the 100 breaststroke.

Hibbing senior William Stenson won the 100 butterfly with a time of 50.37.

Sartell-St. Stephen senior Garrett Maras won the 100 freestyle with a time of 45.70. He also anchored the Sabres winning 400 freestyle relay.

In the 500 freestyle, Simley junior Nico Losinski defended his title with a winning time of 4:40.15.

Click here for complete results of the Class 1A competition on Saturday.

Owing to COVID-19 restrictions, spectators and media were not allowed onsite at the swimming and diving state meet.

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