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Wayzata, Visitation win girls' swimming and diving championships

11/20/2013, 10:38pm CST
By Joel Rippel, Star Tribune

The Trojans, who had just one first-place finish, scored 275 points to outlast second-place Minnetonka in Class 2A

Wayzata's Madison Preiss swam to win the 200 yard individual medley with a time of 2:01.91. (Renee Jones Schneider/Star Tribune)


Wayzata, relying on consistency and depth, earned its first girls’ state swimming and diving championship on Wednesday.

The Trojans, who had just one first-place finish, scored 275 points to outlast second-place Minnetonka (232 points) for the Class 2A championship at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.

“We had two divers in the top eight and had somebody in every event and all three relays,” Wayzata coach Elizabeth Hansen said. “We told the team that anyone had the chance to win the meet. That there was no favorite. We told them to go out and race. They did that on Monday in the diving and then yesterday in the preliminaries.”

Sophomore Madison Preiss was Wayzata’s lone individual event winner. She won the 200-yard individual medley to put the Trojans in first place after three events. Wayzata remained there the rest of the night.

Preiss finished second in 100 breaststroke to give the Trojans an insurmountable 41-point lead going into the final event.

“I just wanted to go out and try hard and swim my best,” Preiss said.

Wayzata, the runner-up to Edina last year, wrapped up the state title with a second-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay.

Minnetonka, which was bidding for its first state title since 1976, got a first-place finish from senior Isabel Wyer in the 200 freestyle.

Chanhassen, which finished in fifth place, opened Wednesday’s final with a record-setting performance in the 200 medley relay. Chanhassen (1:41.96) broke its own record set in Tuesday’s preliminaries.

Chanhassen junior Zoe Avestruz, who swam a leg on the 200 medley relay, won the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke. She also swam a leg on Chanhassen’s victory in the 400 freestyle relay, which set an all-time state record of 3:25.69. Chanhassen junior Kaia Grobe defended her title in the 100 freestyle.

Edina, which finished third with 221 points, got victories from freshman Rachel Wittmer in the 50 freestyle, Olivia Anderson in the 100 breaststroke, and its 200 freestyle relay. Edina’s winning team in the 200 freestyle relay set a all-time state record of 1:34.06.

Mounds View senior Kiley Kuether won diving event with 408.05 points. Eden Prairie senior Kira Zubar won the 500 freestyle.

Visitation tops Class 1A

Going into the season, Visitation coach Nate Linscheid thought his squad had promise.

“We had a core of swimmers coming back [from last year’s third-place finish],” Linscheid said. “And we had some young swimmers who we hoped would step up.”

On Wednesday, buoyed by two relay titles and one individual champion, the Blazers swam to the Class 1A state title. The balanced Blazers, who had a top-eight finish in every event but diving, finished with 300 points — 132 more than runner-up Mankato West, which had four individual titles and one in relays.

“We definitely exceeded our expectations,” Linscheid said. “Our girls swam great in the preliminaries on Tuesday and repeated it today. We had some really great swims and great senior leadership.”

The Blazers, who earned first state title since winning four in a row from 2005-08, opened the finals with a victory by Caroline Gaertner, Heather Farley, Emily Kishish and Lorelei Gaertner, Caroline’s younger sister, in the 200-yard medley relay.

Sophomore Abbie Dolan was the Blazers’ only individual champion, winning the 100 freestyle in 50.31 seconds. Dolan, who set the Class 1A state meet record (50.04) in Tuesday’s preliminaries, edged defending state champion Solveig Viren of Grand Rapids by 1.13 seconds.

Dolan also finished second in the 200 IM and swam the anchor leg of the Blazers’ meet-ending victory in the 400 freestyle relay.

Mankato West’s second-place finish was fueled by sisters Danielle and Chantal Nack, who each won two events and swam a leg on the Scarlets’ winning 200 freestyle relay.

Danielle Nack, who will swim for the University of Minnesota next year, won the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly. Chantal Nack, a junior, won the 200 and 500 freestyles.

Albert Lea sophomore Lindsey Horejsi won the 200 IM and defended her state title in the 100 breaststroke.

Northfield junior Bailey DuPay earned her third consecutive Class 1A diving title with a score of 397.55.

Faribault senior Cecilia Hake won 100 backstroke with a time of 55.74.

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