Girls swimming: Prior Lake dual meet notebookBefore she shattered the Twin Bluff Middle School pool record and the school record in the 100-yard freestyle, Red Wing sophomore Abbey Schnaith lost the 200 freestyle.
By: Ryan Nilsson, The Republican Eagle
Before she shattered the Twin Bluff Middle School pool record and the school record in the 100-yard freestyle, Red Wing sophomore Abbey Schnaith lost the 200 freestyle.
She led at 50, 100 and 150 yards Thursday, but was overtaken by Prior Lake senior Linay McCrady in the final two laps.
“After I hit the 100 mark my legs and arms were just killing me and it became a mental race just to finish and do my best,” said Schnaith, who finished second in 2 minutes, .99 seconds.
Schnaith’s records can be traced to her mental makeup. She used the loss as motivation.
“Instead of getting sad and down, like, ‘Ahhh,’ I decided I was gonna turn that into anger and use that in the 100 free,” Schnaith said. “I was just trying to get myself super psyched up to erase the 200 free and make a statement with that 100 free.”
She swam the race in 52.94 to highlight an otherwise down night for Red Wing, which lost 95-86.
Schnaith now has her name attached to four of the 11 school swimming records. It was her first pool record.
“Whenever you get a record you seriously have the most adrenaline, excitement. You just want to scream and jump up and down,” said Schnaith, who did a fair amount of hopping after the swim. “It’s so exciting. They all mean a lot. It was really nice to get a pool record.”
If Schnaith had turned in that performance at last year’s Class A state meet, she would have finished third overall. She swam the 50 free (third place) and 100 backstroke (fifth) at the 2008 state championships.
In between her two individual races Thursday, Schnaith spoke with Jeff Simonson and Gene Petersen, her present and past coach, respectively. Petersen had her split times from the 200 medley relay, the first event of the meet.
“To see that in the medley relay I had gone one of my best splits ever it kept me going and made me even more motivated for the 100 free,” Schnaith said.
Jenny Zeller of Faribault had held the pool record of 54.40 since 1987, according to former Red Wing coach Don Featherstone. Katie Mettling had held the school record of 53.87 since 2002.
A year ago, depth was one of the Wingers’ hallmarks. The team’s swimmers had a penchant for finishing third instead of fourth or fifth instead of sixth.
In an individual event, the sixth-place finisher is the only swimmer who does not score at least a point for her team.
A Red Wing swimmer finished sixth in seven of the eight individual swimming events Thursday. The 200 individual medley, in which the Wingers finished third, fourth and fifth, was the one exception.
“We’re not as deep as we (were) in the past, but we still have those people that are coming on strong,” Red Wing senior Graci Gorman said.
“And Prior Lake is one of the deepest teams I’ve seen in a very long time. You can compare them to us a few years ago if you wanted.”
The Wingers didn’t fare much better in the relays. Only the top three relay teams score points and Red Wing finished second, fourth and sixth in two relays.
(Even though Red Wing had only one top-three team in the 400 free relay — its ‘A’ relay team came in second — it received 12 points because the Lakers swam exhibition.)
The 200 free relay was the exception. Red Wing teams finished first, fourth and sixth to outscore the Lakers 8-6.
Simonson noted that roster size does not equate to depth. The Wingers have 49 team members — 16 more than Prior Lake. However, Red Wing’s roster includes seven seventh-graders and 13 eighth-graders.
After Schnaith, it could be argued eighth-grader Ashley Thompson had the best day among Red Wing swimmers.
Swimming in Lane 2, she won the 100 breaststroke in 1:10.89. Thompson finished 1.32 seconds under the state qualifying time.
She also had a good split in the 200 medley relay. She swam the breaststroke leg for Red Wing’s “B” relay team in 33.29. That was .27 seconds faster than senior Michaela Holm swam the same leg for the Wingers’ “A” relay team.
Pep talk in order
As the warm-up period began after diving, the three lanes reserved for Red Wing swimmers were empty.
While the Lakers were in the water, the Wingers were in the locker room.
Simonson called the meeting because Red Wing trailed by 12 points, 37-25, after the first four swimming events and 20 points, 49-29, after diving.
“The first half of the meet, we all kind of thought that Prior Lake would have been a different team than they were,” Simonson said. “So I just wanted to remind them that we’re here to swim for us. Don’t size each other up to the other team. We’ll shoot for our best that we can possibly give right now.”