Section swimming: Cards finish fourth, send relay to state
Alexandria swimmers and divers were tapered and ready to go for the Section 6, Class A meet at the University of Minnesota-Morris on Nov. 9 and 11.
The Cardinals showed off some season-best times to finish fourth as a team in the 11-team field, and will send a relay team to the state meet this weekend.
The 200-medley relay group of McKenna Horan, Ashtyn Molesworth, Addison Rodel and Jadeya Peterson accomplished that feat after dropping more than three seconds in the finals from the prelims. That helped them to a third-place finish in 1:53.77 and qualified them for state by beating the 1:54.66 time standard in the event.
Freshman Anna Dokter had swam for Horan in the 200-medley prelims two days earlier in order to let Horan focus on the next event in the meet, the 200 freestyle. The Cardinals were fifth in the prelims with a time of 1:56.95. On Saturday, seeing a chance at state, Horan got moved back into the finals lineup.
"She was two seconds faster than Anna, but Ashtyn Molesworth was a full second faster on Saturday, and Addison Rodel was a half second faster, as well," Alexandria head coach Kathy Walker said. "That was the difference. They knew the time they had to go. In fact, they were chanting, '1:54.66' on the bus on the way to the meet. They just had some really fierce swims, set their eyes on the goal, and raced to it."
The team portion of the meet was won by perennial Class A power Sartell-St. Stephen. The Sabres posted 567 points, blowing away the field with second-place finisher Sauk Centre sitting at 303 points. Melrose rounded out the top three with 279 points, while the Cardinals had 231.
"I am extremely proud of our fourth place finish, especially when we have powers like Sartell, Melrose and Sauk Centre in our section," Walker said. "We advanced swimmers and divers into the final or consolation heats in every event. The girls dropped lots of time and are ready to drop more at the state meet. I know the girls were pretty happy with their swims and dives."
Horan went straight from the 200-medley relay race back into the pool to take seventh (2:03.64) in the finals of the 200-yard freestyle. Grace Karrow (2:05.48) won the consolation finals to take ninth overall in the event.
Horan also just missed the state meet in the 500 freestyle. She took third in that event after finishing in 5:31.09, six seconds off of Lexy Oftedahl from Sartell in second place for the section's final spot at state in the event.
Alexandria's Hattie Galloway (2:20.68) was seventh in the 200 IM, while Abby Bartosiewski (2:24.19) and Rodel (2:24.52) were ninth and 10th, respectively. Alexandria's top finisher in the 50 freestyle was Molesworth in sixth place (25.45), while Peterson (26.69) was 15th.
Senior Joslyn Kent paced the Cardinals' divers with a seventh-place finish after tallying 316.85 points. Carley Ford was 13th with 282.90 points.
Bartosiewski paced the Cardinals in the 100 yard butterfly with a ninth-place finish (1:03.72), while Rodel (1:06.29) and Savannah Overland (1:09.22) were 11th and 15th. Peterson was 11th (57.72) in the 100 freestyle, and Cassie Corson took 16th (59.62).
In the 500 freestyle, Karrow finished 12th (5:42.52) and Kaitlyn Meece was 16th (5:53.85).
Alexandria's 200-freestyle relay team of Rodel, Staci Nohl, Brienna Timm and Galloway tied for sixth with a team from Albany in 1:46.64.
The Cardinals' top finisher in the 100-yard backstroke was Dokter in 15th place (1:07.68). Molesworth finished fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke in a time of 1:10.81, while Galloway (1:14.21) and Sidney Johnson (1:15.99) were 12th and 16th.
The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Peterson, Karrow, Horan and Molesworth then rounded out the meet with a sixth-place finish in 3:49.50.
The 200-medley relay team now shifts its focus to the state prelims at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center on Nov. 17. Those start at noon as swimmers try to make the finals that are set for Saturday at noon.
"Everyone who coaches swimming knows that if you can make the time standard for the state meet, you are in great shape," Walker said. "We rested the swimmers for only a week and a half, so we will rest them more and keep them focused this week."
With two juniors in Rodel and Peterson and two freshmen in Horan and Molesworth, this is this group's first time at state and Walker believes the girls are ready for another fast swim.
"They are excited after their fast swims but are still hungry for better turns and relay exchanges," Walker said. "By focusing on the details, they will be able to do even better. Our goal is to make it back into the 'show' on Saturday. The girls have lots of friends from other teams at the state meet, so it will be a fun experience they will want to repeat for years to come."
Minnewaska-Morris' Entzi qualifies for state
Lacey Entzi of the Minnewaska-Morris Area swim team qualified for state in the 100-yard butterfly after a fourth-place finish in the event at sections.
Entzi swam the butterfly in 1:00.36, just under the state standard time of 1:00.74 to qualify for the state meet.
Minnewaska-Morris finished seventh as a team after tallying 153 points.
SECTION 6, CLASS A MEET
TEAM FINISHES - Sartell-St. Stephen - 567; Sauk Centre - 303; Melrose - 279; Alexandria - 231; Rocori - 218; Little Falls - 187; Minnewaska-Morris - 153; Albany - 117; Holdingford - 89; Staples-Motley - 48; St. Cloud Apollo - 43