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Edina, Visitation win titles in girls' swimming

11/18/2016, 11:00pm CST
By HEATHER RULE, Special to the Star Tribune

The Hornets set state marks in both freestyle relays.


Edina's Kelli McCarthy, top, won the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 4:52.03 in the Class 2A girls' swimming and diving state meet.

Edina set two state records and won seven of the 12 events en route to the Class 2A girls’ swimming and diving state title Friday night at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center.

The Hornets grabbed the lead after the third event and never surrendered it. They won with 353 points, followed by defending champion Wayzata with 279. Minnetonka was third with 245.5.

“It was a total team effort from the first event to the last,” Edina coach Jeff Mace said.

They relay team of senior Rachel Wittmer and juniors Ashley Post, Kelli McCarthy and Raime Jones set state records in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays. In the 200 freestyle relay, they clocked in at 1:32.89, beating Edina’s time of 1:33.80 in 2014. They finished the meet in the 400 freestyle relay with a winning time of 3:21.89, more than seven seconds faster than their time in the preliminaries and beating the previous record of 3:22.37 set in 2014.

“On both those races, I could hear my team just screaming for me, and that’s just the best feeling,” Wittmer said. “Getting those [records] just made our day.”

Wittmer swam to two individual titles, too. She repeated as 50 freestyle champion, leaving her mark as a four-time state champion in that event. Her time of 22.65 seconds was just over her state-record of 22.54 she set last year’.

But as Mace said, it’s hard to pick just one girl who did well. Jones won the 100 freestyle in 50.59 seconds. McCarthy won the 500 free with a time of 4:56.14.

“This is one of the best nights of my life,” McCarthy said.

Wayzata senior Carly Quast set a state record with a time of 1:47.33, successfully defending her 200 freestyle championship. It beat the previous record of 1:47.72 from last year.

Edina’s team effort carried over to diving. Freshman Megan Phillip scored a 480.85 to best defending champ Roseville junior Michelle Schlossmacher-Smith and her score of 472.60. Schlossmacher-Smith was the leader after the preliminaries, but Phillip’s final dive notched a 50.60 score, pushing her to the top.

Phillip said she didn’t focus on competing against Schlossmacher-Smith.

“I wanted to focus on beating my score and my personal best,” Phillip said.

Schlossmacher-Smith beat her state-title winning score from last year by about 30 points (442.05), too.

“She had some really good dives at the end, so she did very well tonight,” Schlossmacher-Smith said. “I just had to be happy with my own score and my own performance.”

Class 1A

Visitation had its 200 medley relay team disqualified in the prelims of the state meet, meaning a potential 40 points off its score. It left the Blazers a little worried, since they knew the meet would be tight, according to Visitation coach Nate Linscheid.

“After that, that was the last bad thing that happened,” he said.

As it turned out, Visitation didn’t need those relay points, winning its fourth consecutive Class 1A girls’ swimming state title by 50 points over runner-up Breck.

Visitation scored 261 points, followed by Breck with 211 and Hutchinson with 192. The Blazers earned 13 medals in the 12 events.

One important factor was Visitation having swimmers score points who either weren’t expected to or scored higher than expected, Linscheid said.

Senior Lorelei Gaertner took second in the 50 freestyle (23.98) and 100 butterfly (56.76). She also was part of the winning 200 freestyle relay. The girls all really stepped up, she said.

“To finish off my four years undefeated has been a dream come true,” Gaertner said.

The meet’s only defending individual champion, Breck senior Allyssa Phelps in the 200 individual medley, finished third behind winner Madison Potter, a sophomore from Blake (2:05.28).

Potter also won the 100 fly (55.40) and finished fifth as part of the 200 medley relay in her first trip to state. She said her victories were a surprise.

“My coach was screaming on the sidelines, and I was super excited,” Potter said.

Foley senior Kasey Milstroh came into the meet as the reigning 500 champion. This year, she won the 200 free (1:51.12) and the 100 free (51.02), just beating Hutchinson freshman Lexi Kucera (51.06).

“I put my head down and I just went,” Milstroh said. “I cried a little bit, but I was really happy.”

Milstroh also took third in the 200 free relay. She signed to swim at the University of Minnesota next year.

Breck sophomore Saylor Hawkins won the diving title with 433.75 points, improving on her fourth place from 2015.


Photo Gallery: Class 2A state swimming and diving

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