High School State Championships: Minnesota Girls

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, November 22. VISITATION claimed the Class A title and Wayzata was the top AA team at the Minnesota State High School League Swimming and Diving Championships Nov. 18-20 at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Three state records–all in Class AA–and two Class A marks fell during the championships.

Class A
The Visitation Blazers scored 300 points to become this year’s champions. Junior Caroline Gaertner, freshman Lorelei Gaertner plus sophomores Emily Connors and Abby Dolan set the Class A record during the last event–the 400 free relay–with their 3:29.54. That time erased Hutchinson’s 2010 mark of 3:30.44.

The Blazers also were the top team in the 200 medley relay with the Gaertner sisters, senior Heather Farley and sophomore Emily Kishish. They finished in 1:46.18, just ahead of Albert Lea’s all-sophomore quartet of Bailey Sandon, Lindsey Horejsi, Ahnika Terisea and Anna Andersen (1:46.27).

Dolan set a Class A standard in the 100 free with her prelim time of 50.04; in finals, she improved from third last year to first with her 50.31.

The Mankato West Scarlets claimed second with 168 points. They were led by senior Danielle Nack, who will stay close to home swimming for the University of Minnesota next fall. Nack became a three-time champion in both the 50 free (22.87, 5-hundredths shy of her Class A mark) and the 100 fly (53.41, 1 second

behind the state standard she set last year). She also anchored the victorious 200 free relay with juniors Chantal Nack and Madison Bacon, with freshman Rachel Phinney (1:36.88).

Chantal Nack improved on her top qualifying time in the 200 free (1:53.73), winning the event in 1:50.08. She also nosed out the defending champion in the 500 free, Chisago Lakes senior Thomason Lee, 4:56.43 to 4:56.48.

The Sartell-St. Stephen Sabres came in third with 161 points. Two groups of Tigers battled for the fourth and fifth positions–Hutchinson emerged a point ahead of Albert Lea, 131 to 130.

Lindsey Horejsi, a sophomore at Albert Lea, posted winning times in the 200 IM (2:02.66) and 100 breast (1:00.67). Her 1:00.24 prelim time in the 100 breast was just 8-hundredths off the state record she set last year.

Cecelia Hake, a senior at Faribault, improved on her fourth-place finish a year ago with her winning 55.74 in the 100 back. Northfield junior Bailey DuPay earned her third consecutive diving title with this year’s 397.55 points.

Class AA
The Chanhassen Storm may have only come in fifth place in the team standings with 197 points, but they created lots of excitement with their two state record-setting relays.

The squad of juniors Zoe Avestruz, Kaia Grobe and Kylie Dahlgren–with Kaia’s sister Bridgette swimming the second leg–first took down Eden Prairie’s 2010 state record of 1:44.80 with their prelim swim of 1:43.50. In finals, they lowered it further to 1:41.96. Senior SHelby Holmes joines Grobe, Dahlgren and Avestruz for a second state record in the 400 free with their 3:25.69. That wiped out Hutchinson’s 2010 time of 3:30.44.

Edina’s quartet of juniors Amelia Anderson, Olivia Anderson, Emma Wittmer and freshman Rachel Wittmer took down the state standard the 2011 Edina team had set of 1:34.40 with this year’s 1:34.06.

Chanhassen’s Avestruz defended her individual championships in the 100 fly (54.37) and the 100 back (52.96). Kaia Grobe earned a close victory in the 100 free, 50.49 to Wittmer’s 50.55. Wittmer claimed the 50 free in 22.81–just 8-hundredths off the state mark–and dethroned Grobe, who was attempting to become a three-time event champion. Grobe finished third in 23.43, just behind Wayzata sophomore Colleen Donlin (23.37).

Edina’s Olivia Anderson was successful in her quest to become a three-time winner in the 100 breast with her 1:01.88. Isabel Wyer closed out her high school career with a winning 1:49.18 in the 200 free. Like Danielle Nack, Wyer will swim for Minnesota in 2014.

Other swimmers who climbed to the top of the podium stand were Kira Zubar, a senior at Eden Prairie (500 free, 4:54.78) and Wayzata junior Madison Preiss (200 IM, 2:01.91).

Less than 10 points separated the top three divers. Mounds View senior Kiley Kuether improved from fourth to first this year with 408.05 points. Rochester Century sophomore Andrianna Jacobs followed in second (401.15), with Stillwater junior Liz Click claiming third with 398.10. She had been eighth in 2012.

The Wayzata Trojans earned 275 points to give them first place in the Class AA division. The Minnetonka Skippers were the runner-up team with 232 points, followed by the Edina Hornets (221) and the Stillwater Ponies (206).

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