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Swimming and Diving: East Ridge swimmer, diver compete at state

Casey McGrath powers through the 500-yard freestyle during Friday's preliminaries at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. (Bulletin photo by Blaze Fugina)

One swimmer and one diver represented the East Ridge boys' swimming and diving team at the Class 2A state swimming and diving meet last weekend at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.

Although neither of the Raptors made it past the preliminary rounds, sophomore Casey McGrath achieved his season-long goal to make an appearance at state. McGrath finished in 23rd place in the 500-yard freestyle event with a time of 4 minutes, 51.17 seconds.

The time was less than four seconds away from the 16th place needed to qualify for the finals. But McGrath felt good about the race he had in his first career appearance at the Class 2A state meet.

"I feel like it went pretty good," McGrath said. "I felt it quite a bit in the second half, and that cost me a little bit of time. But other than that it felt really good."

McGrath swims with club team South East Metro Sharks in the offseason and plans on doing so again. After reaching his goal to qualify for state, he hopes to build on the appearance again next year.

"It's been a goal all season," McGrath said. "I'm just so happy I made it in sections."

Minnesota Online senior JohnThomas Larson ended up finishing first in the 500 freestyle finals with a time of 4:16.92. The swim set an all-time Minnesota high school record.

Ostrom dives at state

East Ridge senior Brad Ostrom finished 22nd in the Class 2A diving event with a score of 145.35.

The score put Ostrom just two spots away from qualification for the diving semifinals. Farmington's Seth Krause finished 20th with a preliminary score of 152.00 to qualify for the last spot in the semifinals.

Hastings junior diver Vova Tipler finished first in Class 2A diving with a finals score of 494.40.

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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