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Rizzo swims to fifth at state

Woodbury junior Timothy Rizzo swam to a fifth-place finish in the Class AA 500-yard state meet freestyle Saturday in a time of 4:39.57. John Molene / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 3
East Ridge junior Carter Smith swims in the 200-yard IM in the state meet. Smith had a time of 1:58.7 in the finals Saturday, finishing 16th. John Molene / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 3
East Ridge junior Casey McGrath swims in the 200-yard freestyle in the state meet. McGrath finished 18th in 1:26.45. John Molene / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 3

MINNEAPOLIS — Junior Timothy Rizzo of Woodbury swam to fifth place in the 500-yard freestyle finals to highlight efforts by Woodbury and East Ridge swimmers at the state swimming and diving meet.

Held at the Jean K. Freeman Center on the University of Minnesota campus, Rizzo came into the meet with the 12th fastest qualifying time in the event, but far exceeded expectations.

Rizzo blazed to a time of 4 minutes, 36.98 seconds in Friday's preliminaries, knocking six seconds off his previous best in the event.

He swam a 4:39.57 race in the finals Saturday, finishing fifth overall and earning 14 team points for the Royals. He was ninth in the state in the event last year as a sophomore.

Rizzo was also 13th in the finals of the 200 freestyle, finishing with a time of 1:44.56.

"Tim Rizzo had the goal in the 500 to medal by finishing in the top eight," said Woodbury coach Marty Hoven. "Tim was also able to reach his goal time of 4:36. His swims in the 200 and 500 set him up for an exciting senior year next season. He is close to breaking two school records."

Thanks to Rizzo's 18 total points, Woodbury finished 25th in the team race.

East Ridge junior Casey McGrath was 16th in the 100 freestyle finals in 48.44. McGrath was also 18th in the prelims of the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:46.25.

Carter Smith of East Ridge placed 16th in the 200 individual medley in 1:58.37.

Lukas Hruby of Woodbury was 22nd in the 100 freestyle in 48.42.

In the 200 freestyle relay the Woodbury team of Jaron Kittelson, Hughdan Liu, Hruby and Rizzo finished 21st in a time of 1:30.54.

"I would say we reached all our goals at the state meet," Hoven added. "Lukas Hruby had a great swim in the 100 freestyle. The two seniors on the 200 freestyle relay, Jaron Kittelson and Hughdan Liu, helped the relay drop time."