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More Cougar records fall with strong finish at Dragon/Cobber Invite

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The University of Minnesota, Morris swimming and diving team posted record performances as they finished third at the two-day Dragon/Cobber Invitational Friday and Saturday in Moorhead.

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The Cougars finished in third place with 445 points, 36 ahead of Division III foe Concordia-Moorhead in fourth. Division II teams MSU-Moorhead and Northern State owned the top two spots, scoring 1,071 and 624 points, respectively.

Kayla Gastecki won both the 200-yard breaststroke and the 400 individual medley, setting new school records along the way. She won the 200-breast with a 2:33.95, breaking the three-year-old record of 2:45.59. She then won the 400-IM with a 4:58.80, breaking the record of 5:02.02 held since 2008. With her wins in the 400-IM, the freshman also dropped over 10 seconds of her previous best this season.

Setting a new career best on Friday was Jessica Fisher in the 400 IM with her seventh-place 5:21.82, as did Charlotte Raeker in one-meter diving with her 132.35 in fifth place.

The 800-yard freestyle relay of Fisher, Jackie Hanson, Sara Dens, and Gastecki teamed up to finish in 8:37.73, shattering the two-year old record of 8:45.92. The relay finished in third place, with MSUM and NSU taking the top two spots.

Winning for the Cougars on Saturday was Andelee Quast in the 50-yard breaststroke, posting a 33.53, in prelims, before dropping it to 33.13 in finals. Each of Quast's times bested the rest of the field. The Cougars took three of the top five spots in the event, with Gastecki (34.80/4th) and Dens (34.80/5th) helping Morris control their DII competition.

Quast also added a fifth-place finish in the 100-breast, finishing with a 1:13.44, while Dens was fifth in the 500-yard freestyle with a 5:51.22, her first time competition in the event this season.

Quast then rounded out her day with a season best in the 200-IM, touching the wall in 2:28.15 to place eighth.

Also finishing third was Melissa Johnson in the 50-yard backstroke, as her 31.44 in prelims held up, finishing just a half second out of second.

In the 100-yard butterfly, Fisher posted a career best, finishing with a 1:06.32 to drop over a half second off her previous best, finishing sixth.

Tying a career best was Hanson in the 100-yard freestyle, as she posted her best time of the season with a 1:00.73, placing eighth, one of just two DIII competitors in the top-eight.

On the boards, Raeker posted a 200.10 on one-meter, gaining the Cougars nine points with her sixth-place finish.

In wrapping up the day, the Cougars posted their second best time of the season, as Gastecki, Johnson, Natalie Reynen and Dens posted a 4:00.03 in the 400-yard freestyle relay, placing third.

The Cougars' next action, though, will be next weekend when they head to the College of St. Catherine Invitational.

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