Then There Were Nine: DL Girls Swim and Dive Team Advances to State

Then There Were Nine: DL Girls Swim and Dive Team Advances to State Click to Enlarge

GRAND RAPIDS, MN--The Detroit Lakes Lakers Girls Swim and Dive team finished Second overall at the Section 8a meet but won the majority of events. The Lakers finished with champions in 7 of 12 events, and qualified swimmers and divers for State in 10 of 12 events.

The Lakers started off with winning gold in the 200 medley relay. Josie Retz, Syd Gulon, Jen Tracy and Ella Henderson finished with a time of 1:52.34. In the 200 Freestyle, Kaitlyn Peterson earned her first-time trip to state in the last few strokes to finished 2nd with a time of 2:04.14. Next in the 200 IM, Jen Tracy placed first with a time of 2:14.09. In the 50 Freestyle, Ella Henderson finished second with a time of 24.99 earning her second consecutive appearance in the Class A meet. In Diving, Lakers, and state meet veterans, Emma Disse and Lexi Yliniemi finished 1-2. In the 100 fly, another 1-2 finish by the Lakers. Jen Tracy had broken the Section and Pool record for the event at Prelims on Friday with a time of 58.87 and finished as Section 8A champ again Saturday with a time of 59.17 followed by Evan Westrum. Westrum won in a photo finish with a time of 1:01.57 touching out Crookston's Kate MacGregor (1:01.74) for her first-time appearance at the Class A meet. In the 100 Freestyle, Ella Henderson swam to a second place State-qualifying finish with a time of 55.38. In the 500 freestyle, Syd Gulon cruised to a first-place finish with a time of 5:24.35. Gulon came back a few events later to win the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:08.56. The seventh gold was won by the 400 freestyle relay team of (Gulon, Tracy, Lucy Steinke and Henderson) with a time of 3:42.85, also setting a new school record. The 400 relay win was also a first Laker win at the Section 8A meet that event in over at least 20 years.

But wait, there's more Laker top 16 Section finishers:

Abbi Smith, 11th in 200 Free; Addi Young, 16th in the 200 IM and 10th in the 100 breaststroke; Lucy Steinke, 4th in the 50 free and 3rd in the 100 free; Chelsy Johnson, 14th in the 50 free and 11th in the 100 free; Kaitlyn Peterson 3rd in the 500 free; 200 free Relay of Lucy Steinke, Evan Westrum, Rachel Bolar and Chelsy Johnson 5th; Elena Gilbert 16th in the 100 back; Josie Retz 5th in the 100 back; Madi Gerdes 5th in the 100 breaststroke; Ellie Staley 11th in the 500 free and 13th in the 100 breast; Jackson Hegg 6th in diving and Kennedy Hegg 10th in diving.

Lexi Yliniemi was selected as Section 8A Diver of the Year. Ella Henderson and Bemidji's Paige Anderson tied for Section 8A Swimmer of Year. The Lakers Bobbi Jo Koons was named Section 8A Diving Coach of the Year and Carol McCarthy was named Section 8a Coach of the Year.

Bemidji won the Section 8a team title for the 7th year beating the Lakers by nine points.

The Lakers nine athletes will be competing this week at the State Class A Championship, Thursday, November 16-Saturday, November 18th at the U of M Pool in Minneapolis.

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