Swimming: Raiders take 2nd at sections
Had last week's section swimming and diving meet been just the section swimming meet, the Hastings Raiders would be your section champions.
Alas, diving is included. And, due to a pool that is too shallow to permit a diving program, Hastings surrendered 63 points to Woodbury. Those 63 points sure came in handy for the Royals, who ended up beating Hastings by 44 points.
"Oh well," Hastings coach Katie McAlpin said. "There's nothing we can do about it. We outswam them, for what it's worth."
Woodbury finished with 413 points. Hastings had 369.
The second-place finish for the Raiders was their best team performance at sections since 1996, and the Raiders came home with a big plaque for their efforts.
"We got to bring home a plaque, so the girls were excited about that," McAlpin said.
In addition to a strong team finish, the Raiders were able to qualify swimmers in six events for this weekend's state meet, including two relay teams. The state meet for swimmers is Friday and Saturday night at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
"I am very excited," McAlpin said. "We were hoping to get a few more individuals in, but you can't have it all. I'm excited for the girls who did make it."
Hastings had one section champion - Leah Roesler in the 100 butterfly. She had a time of 57.99 seconds and enters the state meet with the fifth-fastest time in Minnesota.
Roesler, a senior, also qualified for the state meet in the 200 freestyle. Her time of 1:56.22 puts her in 11th place entering the state meet.
Roesler qualified for the state meet last year, but was sick during the meet.
"I think she is pretty excited going into it healthy this year," McAlpin said.
Cassie Kimmes qualified in the 200 freestyle as well. Her time of 1:56.52 puts her in 16th place going into the state meet. This is the first time the Hastings junior has qualified in an individual event.
She then followed up her strong performance in the 200 by qualifying in the 500 as well. She had a time of 5:07.58 and is seeded fifth.
Kimmes had made the state cut time in the 500 during prelims, but hadn't achieved the qualifying standard in the 200 all season long. She saved her best swim for the section finals and got in. Last season, she just missed going to state in both events.
Emily Alitz qualified in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:09.25. Last season, Alitz went to the state meet in the 100 breaststroke and the 200 individual medley. This season, she just missed the 200 individual medley cut, coming up just 11 hundredths of a second too late. She had a time of 2:13.36, and the state cut was 2:13.25.
"She was super close," McAlpin said. "We kept telling her she has to grow out her fingernails a little bit longer."
Two relays qualified, including the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle.
The 200 medley team had a time of 1:53.00. Emily Gjelhaug swims the backstroke, Alitz swims the breaststroke, Leah Wallace swims the butterfly and Roesler swims the freestyle.
The 400 freestyle team had a time of 3:38.46. That team is made up of Roesler, Kimmes, Alitz and Wallace.
Finals results went like this:
200 medley relay -- team of Emily Gjelhaug, Emily Alitz, Leah Wallace and Leah Roesler, second, 1:53.00.
200 freestyle -- Roesler, second, 1:56.22; Cassie Kimmes, third, 1:56.52; Katie Reilly, 10th, 2:04.52; Mariah Ring, 11th, 2:04.82.
200 individual medley -- Alitz, fourth, 2:13.36; Abbie Gjelhaug, seventh, 2:17.76; Cortney Walls, 10th, 2:21.92; Alyssa Spitzack, 14th, 2:26.73.
50 freestyle -- Janna Sorg, ninth, 25.75; Melanie Waibel, 13th, 26.95.
100 butterfly -- Roesler, first, 57.99; Wallace, third, 1:00.70; Emily Gjelhaug, eighth, 1:04.64.
100 freestyle -- Sorg, sixth, 56.81; Reilly, eighth, 57.54.
500 freestyle -- Kimmes, second, 5:07.58; Abbie Gjelhaug, sevent, 5:25.11; Mariah Ring, 11th, 5:36.59.
200 freestyle relay -- team of Sorg, Reilly, Abbie Gjelhaug and Kimmes, fourth, 1:43.13.
100 backstroke -- Emily Gjelhaug, seventh, 1:03.34; Wallace, ninth, 1:02.61; Jen Lindberg, 11th, 1:04.61.
100 breaststroke -- Alitz, third, 1:09.25; Walls, fourth, :09.70; Ashley Henning, 10th, 1:12.86; Spitzack, 11th, 1:13.44.
400 freestyle relay -- team of Roesler, Kimmes, Alitz and Wallace, third, 3:38.46.
Wallace just missed the state cut in the 100 breaststroke.
These Hastings swimmers competed in the preliminaries but did not advance to finals.
50 freestyle -- Liz Nulty, 30th, 28.11; Masha Wagner, 32nd, 28.85.
100 butterfly -- Lindberg, 20th, 1:10.09.
100 freestyle -- Melanie Waibel, 21st, 1:01.27; Wagner, 26th, 1:02.44.
500 freestyle -- Megan Waibel, 27th, 6:11.59.
100 backstroke -- Marissa Novak, 26th, 1:13.14.
McAlpin said that Melanie Waibel, a sophomore, had her best times of the season in the 50 and 100 freestyle. Sorg's time were strong, McAlpin said.
McAlpin was named the Section 3AA coach of the year after the strong Hastings performance at the section meet.
And, another honor to report on: Hastings senior Jenna Kari sang the national anthem at the section prelims and finals in Richfield last week.
Apparently, she did quite a job. She will sing the anthem at the state finals Saturday night.