Tigers bring ‘The can’ back to town

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 17, 1999

The Milk Can is back where it belongs.

Friday, December 17, 1999

The Milk Can is back where it belongs.

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Or at least it’s back where it’s familiar.

The Milk Can Trophy, a traveling prize between the Albert Lea and Owatonna High School boys’ swimming and diving teams, belonged to the Tigers for at least 11 years prior to last season, when the Huskies snapped Albert Lea’s dual-meet winning streak at 62.

The Tigers returned the can to Albert Lea with a decisive 104-80 victory in the ALHS pool Thursday night.

&uot;We got ‘er back, didn’t we?&uot; said Tigers coach Jon Schmitz. &uot;It was really a great meet for us.&uot;

The Tigers, who lost their dual-meet opener at Faribault last week, had many strong performances while showing the home fans their new suits, which run almost to their knees. Schmitz said the suits – which are ribbed – are faster than they look, and the Tigers proved it in winning eight of the first 10 swimming events. Leading 104-68, they didn’t count their points in the final race, the 400-yard freestyle relay.

&uot;I’m really happy with the way this team’s coming together,&uot; said Schmitz. &uot;We had some great swims.&uot;

Included was the 200 medley relay team of Mark Hickman, Scott Kallemeyn, Jeff Eaton and Patrick Bell, which won in 1:45.72.

&uot;That’s an outstanding time,&uot; said Schmitz.

The Tigers also won the 200 freestyle relay, where Eaton, Johnson, Witt and Hickman combined for first in 1:35.59.

Johnson and Eaton both won a pair of individual events. Johnson took the 200 individual medley in 2:09.3 and the 100 backstroke in 58.09 seconds. Eaton was first in the 100 butterfly in 55.75 and won the 50 free in 23.59.

The other individual victories were by Hickman, 100 free, 54.41; and Kallemeyn, 100 breast, 1:07.39.

Schmitz attributed the Tigers’ dominance in the meet to their depth.

&uot;We had a lot of contributions from our younger swimmers,&uot; said the coach. &uot;If Owatonna won the event, we’d outscore them because of our third person.&uot;

Schmitz, whose teams went through several seasons this decade with no divers, was also pleased with Dan Nelson’s effort. He was third with 141.2 points.

Other Albert Lea places: Ryan Lowe, second, 200 free, 2:07.69 and third, 500 free, 6:03.51; Ben Lindeman, third, 200 free, 2:08.25 and second, 500 free, 5:58.52; Ben Matheson, fourth, 200 IM, 2:30.27 and third, 100 breast, 1:15.89; Justin Elwood, fifth, 200 IM, 2:31.7 and fourth, 500 free, 6:08.67; Andy Witt, fourth, 50 free, 24.81 and third, 100 free, 56.2; Bell, fifth, 50 free, 25.48 and fourth, 100 free, 57.41; Ray Besco, fifth, diving, 65.3; Kallemeyn, third, 100 butterfly, 1:06.93; Colton Jensen, fifth, 100 butterfly, 1:29.2 and fourth, 100 breast, 1:22.21; Hickman, second, 100 back, 59.95; Mitch Johnson, fourth, 100 back, 1:09.19.

Owatonna won the junior varsity meet 79-21. Ethan Berg won the 200 IM and the 100 backstroke for the Tigers.

The Tigers are in action Saturday at the Mankato East Cougar Invitational.