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Swimmers start new year with bang

Senior Jacob Krusell swims to a third-place time of 2 minutes, 1.5 seconds in the 200-yard freestyle relay in the Raiders' double dual with River Falls and Superior Friday, Jan. 4, at Hudson Middle School. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 2
Sophomore Jonathan Bennett swims the breaststroke portion of the 200-yard individual medley in the Raiders' double dual with River Falls and Superior Friday, Jan. 4, at Hudson Middle School. Bennett took second in the race with a time of 2 minutes, 14.87 seconds. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 2

The Hudson boys' swimming and diving team accomplished a lot in less than 24 hours last week.

The Raiders remained undefeated in Big Rivers Conference competition by sweeping River Falls and Superior in a double dual Friday, Jan. 4, before taking home a title from the 15-team Maroon and Gold Invitational at the University of Minnesota Saturday, Jan. 5.

The Raiders defeated River Falls 72-27 and Superior 74-23 Friday night at the middle school while swimming the final two events of the night as exhibitions.

Hudson swept the top two spots in nine of the 10 events it scored in and two of the top three spots in the other.

Shane Blinkman posted a pair of first-place finishes, winning the 50-yard freestyle in 21.6 seconds and the 500 free in 4 minutes, 43.3 seconds. John Cooper Ramthun was second in the 50 free in 24.43 seconds while Jonathan Bennett was second in the 500 free in 5:26.05.

Alex Weaver won the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:07.34 and Bennett was second in 2:14.87, while Steven Asmus won the 100 butterfly in 56.17 seconds and Ramthun took second in 59.09.

Cale Blinkman edged teammate Erik Small to take first in the 100 freestyle with a time of 49.13 seconds. Small was second in 49.36 before winning the 100 backstroke in 59.07 seconds with Weaver second in 59.5.

In the 200 medley relay, Shane Blinkman, Ethan Hanson, Small and Ramthun combined for a first place time of 1:40.61, while Weaver, Adam Berdusco, Jacob Krusell and Vaughn Kromrey were second in 1:47.98. In the 200 free relay, Cale Blinkman, Ramthun, Small and Asmus were first in 1:32.17 and Kromrey, Bennett, Hanson and Berdusco were second in 1:40.11.

The Raiders also took the top two spots in diving with Ethan Crim earning a winning score of 236.8 and Ethan Schultz taking second with 194.25 while Hanson added a first-place time of 1:59.98 in the 200 freestyle.

Four wins lead to gold at U of M

Saturday Shane Blinkman and Cale Blinkman combined for three individual titles and had a hand in another as the Raiders took first at the Maroon and Gold Invitational at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center. Hudson won the team title with a total of 430.5 points while BRC rival Eau Claire Memorial was second with 393.5. Rochester Mayo was third with 376 and Rochester Century took fourth with 348.

Shane Blinkman won the 200 individual medley in 1:49.71 and the 100 backstroke in 49.75 seconds while Cale Blinkman took first in the 100 breaststroke in 58.67 seconds. The brothers also teamed up with Small and Asmus for a first place time of 1:36.29 in the 200 medley relay.

Hudson will try to snap Eau Claire Memorial's 30-year reign as BRC champions when they host the Old Abes in a conference dual Thursday, Jan. 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the middle school pool.

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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