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Swimming: Cats make sectional splash

Sophomore Anders Olson swims the breaststroke portion of the 200 yard medley relay at the WIAA Division 2 swimming and diving sectional in Hudson Saturday, Feb. 10. Logan McLaughlin, Olson, John Augustin and Seth Larsen teamed up for a second place time of 1 minute, 45.75 seconds to help the Wildcats finish as sectional runners-up. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 3
Wildcat senior Logan McLaughlin gets off the block at the start of the 200 yard freestyle at the WIAA Division 2 swimming and diving sectional in Hudson Saturday, Feb. 10. McLaughlin took third in the race with a time of 1 minute, 47.61 seconds to qualify for this weekend's WIAA State Meet in Madison. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 3
Wildcat senior John Augustin swims the butterfly portion of the 200 yard medley relay at the WIAA Division 2 swimming and diving sectional in Hudson Saturday, Feb. 10. Augustin qualified for state in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.67 seconds. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 3 / 3

A record-setting effort from the Wildcats' 400 yard freestyle relay team in the last event of the day gave the Cats their second straight sectional runner-up finish at the WIAA Division 2 boys swimming and diving sectional in Hudson Saturday, Feb. 10.

Senior John Augustin, sophomore Seth Larsen, senior Andrew Richardt and junior Logan McLaughlin combined for a new school record time of 3 minutes, 24.32 seconds to take second in the 400 free relay and earn a spot at this weekend's WIAA State Championship Meet in Madison.

McLaughlin also qualified for state in the 100 and 200 freestyle races and Augustin advanced in the 50 freestyle while senior Huck Boles moved on in diving. It's the first time since 2013 the Wildcats will have three individuals at the state meet.

Lakeland Union won the sectional team title with a total of 290.5 points and River Falls was second for the second straight year with 272 while Rhinelander was third with 262.

McLaughlin earned his first berth at state in the 100 freestyle with a second place time of 49.3 seconds and qualified in the 200 freestyle for the second straight year with a third place time of 1:47.61.

Augustin, a member of the Cats' state-qualifying 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams last year alongside McLaughlin and Larsen, qualified for the first time as an individual with a fourth place time of 22.67 seconds in Saturday's 50 freestyle.

Boles earned his third trip to state as a diver by winning the sectional title with a score of 305.7.

The Cats' 200 medley relay team of McLaughlin, sophomore Anders Olson, Augustin and Larsen took second with a time of 1:45.75 but came up just three-tenths of a second short of qualifying for state.

Richardt just missed moving on in the 500 freestyle with a fourth place time of 5:16.15 while freshman Connor Barr was fifth in 5:19.06. Richardt also joined McLaughlin on the awards podium in the 200 freestyle with a fifth place time of 1:55.46.

Sophomore Anders Olson earned two podium trips by finishing fourth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:10.73 and eighth in the 200 individual medley in 2:32.0. Augustin also took fifth in the 100 freestyle in 50.9 seconds and Larsen was seventh in the 50 free in 23.43 seconds while the 200 freestyle relay team of sophomore Nate Lawrence, Olson, junior Derrick Graves and Baar combined for an eighth place time of 1:43.07.

The WIAA Division 2 Boys Swimming and Diving Championships will be held Friday, Feb. 16, at the University of Wisconsin Natatorium in Madison.

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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