Raiders qualify for state meet
It was easy for Hastings swimming coach Katie McAlpin to summarize her team's performance at last week's section swimming meet in Richfield.
"We were extremely pleased," McAlpin said.
Hastings qualified two relay teams and has swimmers in six individual events for this weekend's state meet. In the process, the small Raiders team placed fifth out of nine teams at the section meet.
"This year, our energy at the section meet was better than any other year we've had since I've been coach," McAlpin said. "The girls were out there having fun. They stayed focused and in good spirits and didn't get down on themselves if they had a bad race."
The 200 medley relay team placed second at the section meet to earn an automatic berth to the state meet. They had a time of 1:51.13. The section team was made up of Brina Kari, Alyssa Spitzack, Leah Wallace and Janna Sorg.
The Raiders are seeded 11th at the state meet. The top seed in the medley relay is Edina, which comes into the state meet with a time of 1:48.50.
Distance freestyler Cassie Kimmes qualified for the state meet in the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle.
In the 200, she placed fourth but came in ahead of the state cut standard. Kimmes had a time of 1:57.32. The state cut was 1:57.50.
The top seed in the 200 freestyle at state is Nikki Larson of Edina, who has a time of 1:50.66.
In the 500, Kimmes earned an automatic berth with a second-place finish. She had a time of 5:08.96, which was well ahead of the state cut of 5:15.17.
The top seeded swimmer in the 500 freestyle is Kiera Janzen of Cretin-Derham Hall. She has a qualifying time of 4:59.18. Kimmes is seeded No. 10 and wants to finish among the state's top eight, which would earn her All-State honors.
"She's just staying focused on what she needs to do," McAlpin said. "She's reminding herself every day that she is as good as the people on her level. She can do it. She's not getting intimidated by the people who are faster than her."
Kimmes is a senior.
Kate Reilly, a sophomore, qualified for the state meet in the 50 freestyle and the 100 freestyle.
Her qualifying time of 24.55 in the 50 freestyle was two seconds faster than her time at the beginning of the season.
The top seeded 50 freestyler is Hannah Bowen of Stillwater. She has a time of 23.51.
In the 100, Reilly qualified with a time of 53.6, almost four seconds faster than her time at the section meet in 2009. The top seeded swimmer in the 100 is Bowen, who has a time of 51.19.
"It's so fun to watch her swim," McAlpin said. "I don't think she's even five feet tall. She's got a lot of energy and she has a lot of fight in her. She gets out there and she's like, 'They're not going to beat me' and she just goes. She has worked really hard all season. She's done everything we have asked her to do."
Leah Wallace qualified in the 100 butterfly. It's an event she just missed qualifying for last year. This year, she was two seconds faster and came in well ahead of the cut time. She had a time of 58.88 seconds. The state cut was 1:00.03 this year.
Wallace, a junior, was the section champion, too.
"She went after it this year," McAlpin said. "There was no holding her back."
Wallace is one of the top 10 seeds going into the state meet in the event. The top time is held by Rachel Bootsma of Eden Prairie, who has a time of 54.99.
Brina Kari, an eighth-grader, qualified in the 100 backstroke and is the state's No. 14 seed. She placed third in the section meet, but came in under the state cut to advance. Kari had a time of 1:00.26. The state cut was 1:00.84.
"I think this will be a really good experience for her, just to see what it is like and learn the ropes of it all," McAlpin said.
The top seed in the backstroke is Bootsma at 54.68.
The 400 freestyle relay team from Hastings qualified, too. At sections the team was made up of Kari, Kimmes, Wallace and Reilly. They placed third in 3:37.29, four seconds under the state cut time of 3:41.59.
Results from the section meet went like this:
200 medley relay - team of Kari, Spitzack, Wallace and Sorg, second, 1:51.13.
200 freestyle - Kimmes, fourth, 1:57.32; Mariah Wallace, 18th, 2:08.55; Megan Jahnke, 29th, 2:20.46.
200 individual medley - Abbie Gjelhaug, sixth, 2:17.02; Spitzack, 11th, 2:24.87; Megan Waibel, 26th, 2:36.64.
50 freestyle - Reilly, third, 24.55; Sorg, ninth, 26.03; Waibel, 19th, 26.93.
100 butterfly - Wallace, first, 58.88; Gjelhaug, eighth, 1:05.04; Marissa Novak, 20th, 1:10.97; Christina Gillard, 23rd, 1:11.83.
100 freestyle - Reilly, third, 53.60; Kari, ninth, 54.81; Sorg, 20th, 58.58; Waibel, 29th, 1:00.84.
500 freestyle - Kimmes, second, 5:08.96; Mariah Wallace, 17th, 5:43.38; Jahnke, 25th, 6:02.95.
200 freestyle relay - team of Reilly, Sorg, Kimmes and Gjelhaug, fourth, 1:42.10.
100 backstroke - Kari, third, 1:00.26; Leah Wallace, sixth, 1:03.36; Novak, 29th, 1:13.23.
100 breaststroke - Spitzack, sixth, 1:11.01; Gillard, 24th, 1:22.75; Waibel, 25th, 1:22.88.
400 freestyle relay - team of Kari, Kimmes, Leah Wallace and Reilly, third, 3:37.29.