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Hudson High School junior Willie Skinner explodes off the starting block on his way to winning a sectional championship in the 100 yard freestyle at the WIAA Division 1 Swimming and Diving Sectional Saturday at the middle school. Skinner and teammate Sawyer Arndt each qualified for this weekend's state meet in Madison in two events and teamed up with August Jorgensen and Miles Townsend to qualify in both the 200 yard and 400 freestyle relays. The Raiders placed second overall at the 11-team sectional.

Four swimmers heading to state

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Four swimmers heading to state
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Juniors Willie Skinner and Sawyer Arndt each qualified for this weekend's WIAA State Swimming and Diving Championships in two events and teamed up with classmates August Jorgensen and Miles Townsend to earn berths at state in two relay events at last Saturday's Division 1 sectional meet at the middle school pool.

Hudson finished second at the 11-team sectional to third-ranked Eau Claire Alliance (North/Memorial) with a total of 303 points. Eau Claire was first with 388 while Stevens Point finished third with 280.

Skinner won the Raiders' only individual sectional title, placing first in the 100 yard freestyle in 48.35 seconds. He also qualified for state in the 50 freestyle with a second place time of 22.23.

Arndt finished second in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1 minute, 48.02 seconds and was third in the 500 freestyle in 4:58.7 to qualify for state in both events.

Jorgensen, Townsend, Arndt and Skinner teamed up for a second place, and school record, time of 1:29.28 in the 200 freestyle relay, before ending the day by placing second in the 400 freestyle relay in 3:19.57. Both second place finishes came to teams from Eau Claire Alliance.

Jorgensen just missed joining Skinner at state in the 50 and 100 freestyles, finishing fourth in both events with times of 22.94 and 50.36 seconds, respectively. Townsend also came close to an individual state berth in the 100 backstroke with a fourth place time of 57.47 seconds, and teamed up with junior Ross Wusterbarth, senior Lucas Rukavina and junior Evan Groehler for a fourth place time of 1:43.91 in the 200 medley relay.

Rukavina was the Raiders' top finisher in the 100 butterfly, placing seventh with a time of 56.04 seconds, while senior Ty Davis led Hudson in the 200 individual medley with an eighth place time of 2:14.14. Wusterbarth had the team's best time in the 100 breaststroke, finishing 11th in 1:08.71.

The WIAA Division 1 State Swimming and Diving Championships will be held this Saturday, Feb. 16, at the University of Wisconsin Natatorium in Madison. Diving competition begins at 10 a.m. with swimming set to start at 3 p.m.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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