February 26, 2009 at 9:56 a.m.
Although Irondale was able to earn a first place finish in a good chunk of the events, the Wildcats depth and talent overcame their top-end deficiencies to propel them to a 96-89 win.
David Donahue, John Harwell, Kevin Roggemann and Alex Vitalis teamed up to win the first event, the 200-yard medley relay, in a blazing time of 1:51.56
In the next three events, it was CL's depth that earned them their crucial points. In the 200 freestyle, Brody Heggerston, Ryan Smith and Matt Mattson went two-three-four in the event to outscore the Knights and their first place finisher 9-7.
In the 50 freestyle, it was the same story as Andy Willhite, Vitalis and Doran Willis earned a two-three-four finish to keep the Wildcats ahead of the surging Knights.
Willhite did break through and win a first place in the diving competition. His 258.45 points were more than 75 points ahead of the second place finisher from Irondale.
Roggemann and Donahue carried that momentum into their 100 butterfly swim. The pair finished one-two to stretch the lead to seven, the biggest it had been all night. Roggemann won the event in 1:00.62, and Donahue came in at 1:08.41.
Heggerston, Willis and Mitch Gebauer had another two-three-four finish in the 100 freestyle to stretch the lead to nine points.
The meet was almost all but sealed after the 200 yard freestyle. Heggerston, Willhite, Vitalis and Roggemann burned through the pool in 1:37.88. Although the Irondale quartet came in second, the Chisago Lakes' second relay team finished third and stretch the Wildcats' lead to 13 points with only three events left.
Donahue, Vitalis and Joey Eikins effectively closed the door on the Knights with one last two-three-four finish for the Wildcats, extending the lead to 15 points.
Mathematically, the Knights could still win, but an absolute disaster would have had to strike.
Harwell earned a second place finish in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:12.12, and the team of Heggerston, Willhite, Smith and Roggemann finished the meet with a second place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay. For good measure, the foursome of Willis, Mattson, Harwell and Donahue finished in third place to keep the margin of victory at seven.
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