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Visitation advances 17 swimmers, three relay teams to girls’ state meet finals

By JOEL RIPPEL, Star Tribune, 11/19/21, 10:45PM CST


Delano junior Emma Kern set a state meet record in the 100 backstroke.

Visitation’s depth and a record-setting performance by Delano junior Emma Kern highlighted the Class 1A girls’ swimming preliminaries Friday at the University of Minnesota’s Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center.

Visitation, which is in Mendota Heights and has won seven consecutive 1A titles, put on a nearly flawless display, advancing 17 individuals and all three relay teams to Saturday’s championship finals.

“There were not any surprises for us,” Visitation coach Nate Linscheid said. “And that’s good. Everyone swam to their seeds and we had a few more move into the top eight.”

The Blazers advanced four to the championship finals of the 100 butterfly and 500 freestyle and three to the championships of the 200 freestyle and 200 individual medley.

“We’re really looking forward to [Saturday],” Linscheid said. “There are going to be some great races, especially all three relays. And, some great individual races ... very competitive.”

Kern had the top qualifying in two events — the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke. Her time of 53.40 seconds in the 100 backstroke broke the Class 1A state-meet record of 54.94, which she set when winning the event at the 2019 state meet. 

Kern also swam a leg on Delano’s 200 freestyle relay, which had the top time (1:36.59) in Friday’s preliminaries.

Hutchinson senior Grace Hanson, who has won three consecutive 50 freestyle state titles, had the top qualifying times in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle. Her time of 22.82 in the 50 freestyle was just .03 seconds off the Class 1A state record.

Grand Rapids senior Addie Albrecht had the top score (314.80) in the diving preliminaries, which were held Thursday.