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Girls Swimming: Winger swimmers close, but no state berths

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Red Wing swimmers were able to put together solid times in Friday’s Section 1A championship meet. The Wingers had individuals move up a couple places from their seed and saw their times cut.

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The only thing missing for Red Wing was a time good enough to qualify for state as the Wingers were shut out.

“We had some great swims,” said Red Wing head coach Kevin O’Brien. “The girls did everything we asked them to do, it just wasn’t in the cards tonight.”

The Wingers had a rough start to Friday’s section championship. In the 200-yard medley relay, Red Wing was disqualified after a false start.

Giving the team a boost after the 200 medley relay DQ, senior Ashley Thompson finished in 11th place in the 200 IM with a time of 2 minutes, 22.21 seconds. 

“She dropped a little over a second from prelims to finals,” O’Brien said. Thompson swam a 2:23.39 in Wednesday’s preliminary meet.

Thompson had her sights set on another state berth in the 100 breaststroke. Last year, she swam a time of 1:09.11 at the section meet in Austin.

“We knew she had a shot at the state cut,” O’Brien said. 

Thompson took 10th in the breaststroke with a time of 1:10.93, missing the state standard of 1:10.11.

“She got off to a quick start, her first 50 was money,” O’Brien said. “She was great on the turns, there just wasn’t quite enough left in the tank in the last 25 (yards).

“From what we’ve seen out of her this season, this was Ashley’s best swim of the year and a great way to end her career.”

Sophomore Ingrid Olson took her shot at an individual state berth in the 50 and 500 freestyle. 

Olson got into Friday’s 50 freestyle section championship with a qualifying time of 25.51, and hoped to cut more time in hopes of reaching the 25.04 state cut. 

“The race is so tough, and any little thing can throw it off,” O’Brien said, “but we thought she had a chance at it.”

Olson went on to finish 12th in the 50 free with a time of 25.60, missing a state berth by .56 seconds. 

“After the false start (in the 200 medley relay), she had some nerves not wanting to do that again,” O’Brien said. “Once she got into the water (for the 50 free), it was game on. She had a great start and a great turn, which is what we worked on with her. She was aggressive going to the wall and swam a good race.”

Olson had one more shot in the 500 freestyle, placing sixth at 5:36.92.

The Wingers’ coaches believed the 200 freestyle relay was the team’s best chance for a state spot. On Wednesday, the team of Thompson, Carly Boisen, Claire King and Olson got seeded seventh with a time of 1:44.79. On Friday, the foursome dropped their time of 1:43.64 to stay in seventh, but it wasn’t quite enough to reach the state standard of 1:42.80.

“We dropped 1.15 seconds from our qualifying time,” O’Brien said, “it just wasn’t quite enough.”

In the final race of the section championship, the 400 freestyle relay, the team of Nina Kriese, Hannah Kolsky, Abby Sekus and Polina Duchelle took 11th at 4:04.01.

“That was those four’s only race to think about today and they all swam a great race,” O’Brien said.

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The Red Wing Republican Eagle covers local sports in Goodhue County and surrounding areas. 
(651) 301-7878
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