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Boys Swimming: Alms to swim for UIC

With his parents Maureen and Steve looking on, Red Wing senior Tanner Alms signs his national letter of intent to swim for the University of Illinois-Chicago Friday at Red Wing High School. Alms will look for his fourth 500-yard freestyle state championship this winter. (Republican Eagle photo by Joe Brown)

Three-time state champion Tanner Alms has his mind set on the Windy City.

On Friday, the Red Wing standout signed his national letter of intent to continue his swimming career at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

“It was between there and Denison (Ohio),” said Alms, who is the third highest-rated recruit in Minnesota, according to “I really liked both of the campuses, and I had a lot of fun in Chicago.”

Ultimately, the decision came down to the team atmosphere, and Alms was impressed with what the Flames had to offer.

“They seemed very unified,” Alms said, “and I wanted to find that in a team.”

Illinois-Chicago competes at the Division I level in the Horizon League with Cleveland State (Ohio), University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Oakland (Mich.), Valparaiso (Ind.) and Wright State (Ohio).

In having a chance to meet with some of the Illinois-Chicago coaching staff, Alms’ fondness for the team continued to grow. Add an engineering program that was to Alms’ liking, and joining the Flames seemed like a perfect fit.

“I liked how Coach Paul (Moniak) doesn’t focus on a lot of yards, he focuses on a lot of technique work,” Alms said. “The pool was really nice, which helped, and I liked the team a lot.”

Alms is a three-time state champion in the Class 1A 500-yard freestyle, holding the Class 1A state record with a time of 4 minutes, 36.73 seconds at last year’s state meet. He also swam first-place times of 4:51.96 and 4:50.78 as a sophomore and freshman, respectively.

Being one of the most dominating distance swimmers in the state, it’s a relief for Alms to be able to focus on winning a fourth state title and not so much on making a decision on college.

“It’s so nice to finally be done with it,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about anything or finding a college anymore. I can relax and get through this high school year.”

Joe Brown

Joe Brown is the sports editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he worked at the Marshall Independent and the St. Cloud Times. For updates on local sports, follow Joe on Twitter at @RE_JBrown.

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