Last year, in her first state meet appearance, Madison Potter won two state titles.
On Friday, the Blake junior opened defense of her championships in the 200-yard individual medley and 100 butterfly with a strong performance in the Class 1A swimming and diving state meet preliminaries at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center.
Potter had the top qualifying time for Saturday’s finals in the 100 butterfly (55.5) and the second-best qualifying time in the 200 IM (2:06.54). Visitation sophomore Kali Fischer, sixth in the 200 IM at last year’s state meet, had the top qualifying time (2:05.28).
“She [Potter] is so strong mentally,” said Blake coach Kris Rosenberg. “[Pressure] doesn’t affect her. We talk a lot during the season of being in the moment. She embraces that and goes out and does her best. She anchors two relays for us. She loves that.”
Potter swam the anchor legs on the Bears’ 200 freestyle relay, which had the second-best qualifying time (behind Hutchinson), and the 400 freestyle relay which had the third-best qualifying time.
“I’ve been focusing on my underwater [technique] and my turns,” said Potter, whose mother Jenny, was a member of four U.S. Olympic women’s hockey teams.
Visitation, Hutch excel
Visitation, which has won four consecutive Class 1A state titles, and Hutchinson, which finished third last year, had strong performances in the preliminaries.
Visitation advanced all three relays and nine swimmers and two divers to the finals. Hutchinson advanced all three relays and eight swimmers to the finals.
Hutchinson sophomore Lexi Kucera had the top qualifying time in the 100 and 200 freestyles and swam the anchor leg on the Tigers’ 200 and 400 freestyle relays, which had the top times in the prelims.
Cloquet-Esko-Carlton junior Makayla Suominen, the defending champion in the 50 freestyle, had the top qualifying time in that event and had the second-best qualifying time (behind Kucera) in the 100 freestyle. Kucera finished second and Suominen third in the 100 freestyle at last year’s meet.
Class 2A preliminaries
In the Class 2A preliminaries, defending champion Edina had a dominant performance.
The Hornets, who had 29 individuals advance from the Class 2A, Section 6 meet, qualified all three relays and 14 individuals to Saturday’s championship finals.
The Hornets qualified three to the 100 freestyle championship final and four to the 200 freestyle championship final. Two Hornets are in the diving finals.
Edina senior Kelli McCarthy, the two-time defending champion in the 500 freestyle, had the top qualifying time in the 200 and the 500 freestyles. McCarthy also swam a leg on the Hornets’ 200 and 400 freestyle relays. The Hornets had the top qualifying time in each event.
Hornets senior Raime Jones, the defending champion in the 100 freestyle, had the second-best qualifying times in the 200 individual medley and the 100 freestyle. Jones also swam a leg on the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.
Blaine sophomore Isabelle Stanton, the defending champion in the 200 IM, had the top qualifying time in that event and the 100 backstroke. Stanton was the runner-up in the 100 backstroke last year.
Ex-diving champs lead
Roseville senior Michelle Schlossmacher-Smith, who won the Class 2A diving title two years ago, and Edina sophomore Megan Phillip, who edged Schlossmacher-Smith for last year’s title, were the top two qualifiers for Saturday’s finals. Schlossmacher-Smith, in her fifth state meet, has a score of 341.25, while Phillip has a 328.10.
In Class 1A diving, defending champion Saylor Hawkins, a junior from Breck, had the top qualifying score (308.95). Willmar junior Erica Schramm is second (272.90).