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Swimming and Diving: Kirchmann, Carufel, relays headed to state

The Farmington swimming and diving team finished third at the Section 1AA Championships Saturday at the Rochester Recreation Center. The Tigers qualified five athletes for state in five events. From left to right, Evan Carufel (one-meter dive), Connor Kealy (relays), Christopher Kirchmann (50 and 100 freestyles, relays), Zach Holton (relays) and Aaron Lane (relays).

Farmington will once again be well represented at the Class 2A State Swimming and Diving Championships.

The Tigers, who placed 14th with six qualifying events at last year's state meet, will send five athletes in five events to this weekend's Class 2A State Meet after placing third at the Section 1AA Championships Saturday at the Rochester Recreation Center.

Christopher Kirchmann, part of last year's 10th-place state relay, will return in four events this year. He bested the state standard with a sixth-place time of 22.23 seconds in the 50 freestyle and a third-place 48.21 in the 100 freestyle, and also swam legs of the Tigers' state-bound 200 and 400 freestyle relays.

He'll be joined in both relays by Connor Kealy, Aaron Lane and Zach Holton. The 200 relay placed third and the 400 relay fourth at the section meet.

Qualifying for state for the first time was Evan Carufel, who placed second in the section in the one-meter dive with a score of 304.05.

"It was an exciting meet on Saturday," Farmington coach Ryan Hamen said. "These boys have worked hard this year and deserve the opportunity to reach more success at state. It is going to be a great challenge to get into state finals, but these boys have the heart and desire, and I am excited about their potential."

The Tigers finished with 273 points, 34 off the pace of runner-up Hastings. Rochester Century continued its domination of the section with 432 points.

The foursome of Cameron Molnar, Nick Stephan, Brandon Dion and Christian Bell opened Saturday's finals with a sixth-place finish in the 200 medley relay. Holton and Lane followed with back-to-back fifth-place finishes in the 200 freestyle and 200 individual medley.

Holton added a sixth-place swim in the 100 butterfly and Lane was third in the 100 backstroke.

The Class 2A portion of the State Swimming and Diving Championships gets under way tonight at 6 p.m. with the 1-meter dive prelims. The swimmers take to the pool at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center tomorrow night at 6 p.m. as they try to advance to Saturday night's finals.