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SWIMMING: Kiefer, Bruns see success in Seattle

BEMIDJI -- The swimming duo of Shawn Kiefer and Parker Bruns took home eight top-five finishes from the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle last week, with Kiefer taking a gold and three silver medals and Bruns earning a silver, a bronze and two fifth place finishes.

“All the excitement was outstanding,” said Jodi Sandmeyer, the swimmers’ longtime coach. “They were enjoying every minute of that. Shawn had a fabulous swim in the pool and Parker improved his times, so they both did a great thing there.”

A welcome home event for the swimmers has been scheduled to take place at Lueken's Village Foods North at 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 18 to celebrate the pair’s hard work and success in the pool.

The event will feature food in the deli as well as a presentation of the experiences the athletes enjoyed while on their trip to Seattle.

Kiefer, 49, who has been to the Games once before, earned his gold medal with the top finish in the 100 breaststroke and followed it up with sivers in the 200 and 400 freestyle races.

He and Bruns, 30, teamed up for another silver in the 4x25 relay, while Bruns took bronze individually in the 50 backstroke and fifth in the 50 and 100 freestyle.

“I think it’s awesome, and the support that this community has given has been phenomenal, so it’s been a lot of fun,” Sandmeyer said.