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Girls swimming and diving: Cardinals ready for Section 6A meet

Alexandria senior Kaylee Weigel surfaces to take a breath during practice on Tuesday at Discovery Middle School. (Micah Friez / Echo Press)1 / 4
Alexandria senior Addison Rodel jets down her lane during practice on Tuesday at Discovery Middle School. (Micah Friez / Echo Press)2 / 4
Alexandria senior Staci Nohl dives off the starting block and into the pool during practice on Tuesday at Discovery Middle School. (Micah Friez / Echo Press)3 / 4
Alexandria senior Kodi Bundermann perfects her form on a dive during practice on Tuesday at Discovery Middle School. (Micah Friez / Echo Press)4 / 4

The Alexandria girls swimming and diving team has been investing all season long, and now, the Cardinals are ready to cash in.

“At the beginning of the season, we deposited a little ‘money’ in every workout that we go through, all the weights we do, the dryland,” Addison Rodel said. “This section meet is when we’re getting our interest back. We’re hoping that everything we’ve put in… will be worth it.”

Alexandria is set for the Section 6A meet in Sartell, and they feel good heading into action.

“This team, we know we have potential,” Staci Nohl said. “We’ve been told that we can get up there, and you look at the times and we know we can. A big thing is not becoming complacent and just sticking with it, letting everything we’ve done play out.”

Cardinals head coach Kathy Walker is hoping to continue a tradition that begins with success at the section meet -- but doesn’t end there.

“The legacy here with Alexandria swimming is that kids go to the state meet,” she said. “They’re very much looking forward to being able to compete at that time and are planning on doing that. It’s not anything they’re hoping for. It’s a plan.”

The preliminary rounds begin at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8. Those who place in the top 16 of their respective events will move on to the finals, which starts at 11 a.m. for divers and 3 p.m. for swimmers on Saturday, Nov. 10.

“I’m going to spend a lot of time cheering everyone else on, of course,” said Kaylee Weigel, whose lone event for sections is the 500 Free. “Being a captain, I want to make sure everyone… is getting hyped up for their races. And since the 500 is such a long and tiring race, I’m really going to be in my zone, getting ready and mentally preparing myself for the long swim.”

That preparation -- both mental and physical -- has been seen across the board among the team.

“(Us) divers have been doing two-a-day practices just to prepare ourselves for the meet,” Kodi Bundermann said. “We’ve been really focused and working our hardest, so when we get to Saturday, we’re really prepared and really ready to go.”

The Cardinals most recently finished sixth in the Central Lake Conference Meet on Oct. 27, led by Ashtyn Molesworth in the 50 Free and by the 200 Free Relay team of Sidney Johnson, Jadeya Peterson, Hattie Galloway and Molesworth.

The team knows that the section meet will demand the most out of Alexandria.

“Our section is really, really fast,” Walker said. “Everyone is going to have to be on. When you have a relay, you have to have four people who are on that day.

“All three relays at the state meet and some individuals -- That’s what I would say would be a successful (section meet).”

When the Cardinals dive into action, they’ll have their sights set on the coveted state berths.

“Obviously, we all want to drop time, move up and potentially go to state,” Weigel said. “Focusing on our races and making sure we’re doing the best we can… that will really help us get in the zone and do the best we can.”

Micah Friez

Micah Friez covers Bemidji State basketball and BSU for the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Beaver basketball updates.

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