For high school swim and dive teams, the path to the MSHSL State Tournament begins and ends at the Section Championship meet. This two-day event includes preliminary races on day 1, with the top 16 finishers in each event invited to return for finals races on day 2. Earning a state qualifying time in a finals event race is the sole opportunity to qualify for the state meet.
The Mound Westonka/Holy Family (MWHF) girls swim and dive team was one of 10 teams competing in the Section 3A Championships in Willmar Nov. 9 and 11. Coach Ben Hanson’s team finished third overall, was section champion in two events and will send seven swimmers and one diver to the MSHSL State Meet at the University of Minnesota Nov. 16-18.
Hanson pulled together a trio of MSHSL State Tournament qualifying relay teams. With a qualifying time of 1:50.89, the 200-yard medley relay team of junior Camille Ness, senior captain Catherine Dueck, ninth grader Jaylen Juras and junior captain Onna Sullivan earned second place. The 200-yard freestyle relay finished third (1.41.46), advancing junior Grace Warden, Sullivan, junior captain Annemarie Johnson and Ness to the state tournament. Warden, Johnson, Dueck and ninth grader Laney Hendrickson earned their ticket to state with a third-place finish (3.41.89) in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Two MWHF swimmers advanced to state in individual events. Dueck qualified in the 200-yard individual medley (2:08.17) and the 100-yard breaststroke (1:06.23); and Johnson advanced in the 500-yard freestyle (5:20.83) and the 200-yard freestyle (1:58.61).
Dueck is Section 3A’s 200-yard individual medley champion and finished the 100-yard breaststroke in second place behind Hutchinson’s Madilyn Gehrke, who set a new Section 3A record (1:03.91). Johnson finished third in the 200-yard freestyle and, after 20 lengths and more than five minutes of swimming, ended the 500-yard freestyle just 0:00:03 behind Orono, finishing the race in third.
An impressive nine MWHF swimmers qualified for Section 3A finals in both of their individual events with three others qualifying in one event. Senior captain Abigail Ries finished 12th in the 200-yard individual medley and 15th in the 100-yard butterfly. Warden earned ninth place in the 200-yard freestyle and seventh in the 100-yard freestyle. Sophomore Amelia Olson was 11th in the 200-yard individual medley and 15th in the 100-yard breaststroke. Ness placed 11th in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly. Juras finished seventh in the 100-yard butterfly and 15th in the 50-yard freestyle. Sullivan took eighth in the 100-yard back stroke and 10th in the 100-yard freestyle. Ninth grader Chella Patterson finished 12th in the 500-yard freestyle and 14th in the 100-yard back stroke. Three swimmers made section finals in one individual event: Hendrickson and ninth grader Charlotte Lake, both in the 500-yard freestyle; and sophomore Kayla Quandt in the 200-yard individual medley.
Sophomore diver Erika Johnson became Section Champion in the diving event by earning 363.50 points for the 20 dives competed over the two days. Johnson, who finished 29 points ahead of the second place finisher, is known for her consistency and continually expanding dive roster. Johnson debuted her new 2.5 difficulty dive at the meet, the highest difficulty completed across the field of divers over the two days. The top four divers advance to the state meet.
Next meet is MSHSL State Tournament, University of Minnesota Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center: Nov. 16-18, 2023.
Tag(s): Swimming (Girls)