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HASA competes across country

Shane Blinkman, 11, trains with HASA and is a top ranked United States swimmer. Submitted photo

The Hudson Area Swim Association (HASA) ended its long course season last weekend with swimmers competing at meets in different parts of the country.

Spencer Whyte, 16, from North St. Paul, traveled to Lawrence, Kansas, to represent HASA at the Central Zone Senior Championship meet. States and areas of the country represented at this meet were Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Lake Erie area, Michigan, Minnesota, Midwestern area, Missouri Valley area, North Dakota, Ohio, and Oklahoma.

Whyte swam in the preliminaries of the 50 meter freestyle and qualified for the finals, where he posted a 12th place time of 25.91 seconds.

HASA was represented at the 14-and-under Central Zone meet in Pleasant Prairie with three swimmers competing for Team Minnesota, against Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Ella Stein, 10, swam the girls 9/10 age group 100 breaststroke and finished with a personal best time of 1 minute, 33.75seconds to earn an 18th place finish.

Cale Blinkman, 11, swam in the boys 11/12 age group 50 meter backstroke and placed 21st with a time of 34.48 seconds.

Shane Blinkman, 11, swam 15 times during the course of the three-day meet, including participating on four relays.

The top four boys in the state of Minnesota for the 11/12 age group where chosen to swim on the relays, and included Shane Blinkman, 12-year-olds Jon Busse and Sam Larson of Stillwater, and 12-year-old Joshua Withers of St. Paul. The boys took third in both the 200 freestyle and 200 medley relays and fourth in the 400 freestyle and 400 medley relays.

In individual events, Shane Blinkman finished fifth in the 100 breaststroke, eighth in both the 200 individual medley and 50 breaststroke, ninth in the 50 freestyle, 13th in the 200 freestyle, and 14th in the 200 breaststroke. All of the events, except the 200 individual medley, consisted of a preliminary heat and the finals.

Shane Blinkman is ranked among the nation's best in the boys 11 age group, including first in the 50 breaststroke, third in the 200 individual medley, fourth in the 50 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke, and eighth in the 100 freestyle. He began competitive swimming at the age of 9 with HASA.

HASA trains year round at the Hudson Middle School pool, and is part of Minnesota Swimming due to proximity to the state. HASA is governed by USA Swimming. Fall registration is scheduled for Aug. 21 from 6-8 p.m. at the Hudson Middle School pool. For more information, go to

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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