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Paul Fair, Monticello swimming

, Star Tribune

Noah Busch, Minnetonka swimming

, Star Tribune

Zach Checkal, Delano basketball

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Bailey DuPay, Northfield gymnastics

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Alexis Joyce, Lakeville North hockey

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Tyseanna Johnson, DeLaSalle basketball

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Tyra Johnson, Eastview basketball

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Athletes of the week: Swimming skill in a football body

  • January 29, 2013 - 12:38 AM

PAUL FAIR

Monticello • swimming

Standing on the deck before meets, Fair doesn't look like the typical swimming star. At 6-3 and nearly 220 pounds, he more closely resembles a football player, which he also is.

"Some of the younger kids will say things like 'Oh my God, you must lift weights,' " Fair said, laughing.

It's not just other swimmers that Fair impresses.

"The coach at Mankato East, Tim Johnson, came up to me at the True Team State Meet Saturday and said 'This is supposed to be a meet for boys,'" Monticello coach Dirk Westveer said. "Paul's a man among boys."

He won two individual events -- the 100 butterfly in 52.05 seconds and the 200 freestyle in 1:44.59 -- at the Class 1A True Team meet, both meet-record times. He also anchored the meet-record-setting 200 freestyle relay team, but his most impressive swim in the 400 freestyle relay, where he almost made up a three-second deficit in the final 100 meters, losing by inches to St. Thomas Academy.

Swimming well at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center, where the meet was held, is nothing new for Fair. He has won eight Class 1A championships in the previous two seasons there. He hopes his success will carry over to next year as a member of the Gophers swim team.

"The setup, the cool-down pool, the atmosphere. I just love swimming there," he said.

NOAH BUSCH

Minnetonka • swimming

Minnetonka finished a close second to Eden Prairie in the Class 2A True Team meet Saturday, but Busch stood out individually with meet-record swims in the 100 freestyle, the 100 backstroke and the 400 freestyle relay.

ZACH CHECKAL

Delano • basketball

The 6-4 senior guard paced the Tigers to a 93-56 victory over Holy Family -- he had 27 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists -- and an 81-61 victory over New London-Spicer in which he had 25 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.

BAILEY DUPAY

Northfield • gymnastics

Twice in one week, the sophomore set the best all-around score in the state. She scored 38.65 in a dual-meet victory over New Prague, then topped that with a 38.95 at Northfield's Blizzard Invitational.

ALEXIS JOYCE

Lakeville North • hockey

The Panthers won twice, increasing their winning streak to nine games with victories over Eastview (5-1) and Apple Valley (8-0). Joyce, a junior defenseman, scored three goals and had six assists, taking over the team lead in scoring with 40 points.

TYSEANNA JOHNSON

DeLaSalle • basketball

She topped the 2,000-point career mark when she scored 19 points in a 78-57 victory over Eden Prairie. The Iowa State recruit also had 23 points in a victory over Providence and 14 points in a rout of St. Anthony.

TYRA JOHNSON

Eastview • basketball

The Lightning improved to 17-1 this season as the senior forward scored 51 points in two games, with a career-high 31 as they crushed Jefferson. She added eight assists, seven steals and two blocked shots.

JIM PAULSEN

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