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Minnewaska-Morris swimming: Opdahl returns to state


Minnewaska-Morris swimmer Bridget Opdahl will be back in the pool at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center for the second straight year as she claimed the championship in the 50 free and runner-up honors in the 100 free to earns spots in both events at the State Class A meet this weekend.

Opdahl was third in the 50 free prelims on Friday, swimming a 25.34, and trailed Amanda Warzecha of Melrose and Jennifer Thompson of Sartell-St. Stephen.

But the Gator swimmer produced her best efforts in the finals, swimming a 24.57 to beat out Warzecha and Thompson as all three bettered the state qualifying standard of 25.09.

Opdahl also finished third in the 100 free prelims with a 55.21, better than the state standard of 55.28, and sliced off 0.87 seconds to earn a second place finish between Warzecha and Thompson.

Opdahl competed in those same events last year, finishing 16th in both events.

Minnewaska-Morris finished 10th overall as a team.

"The Gator swimmers had an outstanding section swim meet," said head coach Linda Hoffmann. "Of all the individual swims, 88 percent were personal best times.

"Overall, the girls did an excellent [job of] keeping focused and poised for the section meet," she added. "All of the relays and individual swims swam faster the second day. That's what you want as a coach, leave everything in the pool."

The Gator 200 medley relay team of Meghan Thoen, Mason Schlief, Emily Edmunds and Kate Folkman placed 12th overall with a season-best time of 2:14.61, Halleigh Thompson dropped seven seconds for a personal best time of 2:22.91 in the 200 free and Arianna Maras had a personal best of 2:25.73 in that event.

In the 200 IM, senior Colleen Rutledge swam a personal best time of 2:49.92, while sophomore Bridgette Weaver's personal best of 2:33.61 gave her a 14th place.

Folkman, an 8th grader, was 23rd in the 50 free with a personal best 27.89, while Julie Helander was 13th in diving.

"She had a tough day," said Hoffmann of Helander, "but she kept it together and gave it all she had."

In the 100 butterfly, freshman Emily Edmunds and junior Amanda Thompson had personal times of 1:17.29 and 1:17.71, while Rutledge had a personal best in the 100 free in of 1:07.73.

Weaver's 6:04.40 was a personal best in the 500 free, while H. Thompson added a personal best in that event with a 6:31.26.

The Gators' 200 free relay of Folkman, Weaver, Helander and Opdahl was ninth with a best time of 1:49.46, while the 400 free team of Folkman, Weaver, Maras cut nine seconds from their seed time for a 10th place finish in 4:03.61.

Eighth grader Agnes Dieter cut five seconds from her time in the 100 backstroke to finish 23rd in 1:12.89 and Thoen was 26th in 1:14.65. Maras had a 1:14.74 to finish 27th, dropping two seconds.

In the 100 breaststroke, A. Thompson had a season best time of 1:25.04, while Mason Schlief had a time of 1:25.91.