Visitation Wins Sixth-Straight Minnesota Girls Class A State Title

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Photo Courtesy: Jean Pieri / Pioneer Press

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The 2018 Minnesota Class A Girls State Swimming and Diving Championships took place on Nov. 16 at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota’s campus.

Despite not winning any events, Visitation used impressive depth to secure their sixth-consecutive State title with a final score of 319.5. Hutchinson finished second with 272 points while their 4×100 free relay squad set a new Minnesota Class A record.

Click here for results.

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. Visitation – 319.5
2. Hutchinson – 272
3. Breck – 234
4. Sartell St. Stephen – 156.5
5. Delano – 146

The meet began as Breck’s Katelin PhelpsStella UrnessMaggie Broyles and Yvonne Jia won the opening 4×50 medley relay in 1:44.39, three seconds ahead of runner-up Visitation (1:48.18) and Sartell St. Stephen (1:48.63).

Benilde St. Margaret’s Taylor Williams cruised to first in the 200 free as the only swimmer in the field under the 1:50 mark, doing so in 1:48.58 to defend her title. Hutchinson’s Lexi Kucera was second in 1:51.10 while her teammate Hailey Farrell took third in 1:51.49.

Not too long after helping her team to relay victory, Jia found herself with an individual gold in the 200 IM, posting a half-second victory in 2:04.01 over Visitation’s Kali Fischer (2:04.54). Sauk Rapids’ Anna Lucas wound up third in 2:06.15.

Hutchinson’s Grace Hanson sprinted her way to the 50 free gold as the only swimmer in the field to crack 23 seconds, doing so in a swift 22.94 to successfully defend her State crown. Croquet Esko Carlton’s Makayla Suominen took second in 23.37 and Visitation’s Ava Hoffman finished third in 23.53.

Fridley’s Ellie Gunderson dove to first on the 1-meter board, posting a final score of 381.65 for first. Becker’s Emi Quill posted a score of 378.90 for second while Willmar’s Erica Schramm finished third with 364.70 points.

Jia’s second individual gold medal of the night came in the 100 fly, where she flew to first place with a time of 55.41. Gabby Werner of Big Lake’s finished second in 56.22 as Cecelia DeJong of Red Wing’s placed third in 56.51.

Williams found herself on top of the podium for the second time of the meet, this time as champion in the 100 free with a time of 50.44. 50 free winner Hanson was the runner-up in 50.95 as Kucera rounded out the podium in 51.07.

Farrell was back in the water after taking third in the 500 free to earn the State title in the 500 free, winning by three seconds with a final time of 5:02.04. Visitation’s Maria Mattaini powered her way to second in 5:05.23 and Delano’s Morgan Frank took third in 5:07.42.

Hutchinson’s Hanson, Bella ThovsonAinslea Jensen and Kucera combined to win the 4×50 free relay in 1:35.59. Breck was about six-tenths behind in 1:36.23 for the silver while Delano grabbed the bronze in 1:37.89.

After leading off the winning 4×50 medley relay, Phelps cruised to a narrow victory in the 100 back. Her time of 55.43 was only one-tenth faster than runner-up Emma Kern (55.53) of Delano. Fischer swam a time of 57.48 for third place.

Orono’s Caroline Gardner got her hands to the wall first in the 100 breast, stopping the clock in 1:03.08 for the win. Sartell St. Stephen’s Darah Coleman swam to second in 1:03.95 while Richfield’s Hannah Hintermeister touched the wall third in 1:04.83.

The Hutchinson quartet of Hanson, Makayla Witte, Farrell and Kucera concluded the meet with a bang as champions in the 4×100 free relay, besting the field by four seconds in 3:27.64 to set a new Class A record. Visitation (3:31.41) and Delano (3:32.72) finished second and third, respectively.

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