The Morris Area/ Minnewaska girls' swimming and diving team picked up a win at Montevideo, but dropped the home opener Tuesday to Litchfield.
The Gators defeated the Thunderhawks in a close meet 96-87 Thursday, Sept. 1 on the road.
"It was a total team effort," said coach Linda Hoffmann. "Everyone contributed to the team score and we had some great swims so early in the season."
The junior varsity also won by the score of 83-77.
The 200 medley relay team of Paige Entzi, Bridget Opdahl, Alexis Banister, and Brigitte Weaver got out touched at the finish to place second.
In the 200 free relay, the Gators were led by McKayla Smith with a 2:27.19 followed by a second-place by Alexis Banister and a fifth place by Paige Hawkins.
Entzi had the winning time of 2:32.35 in the individual medley, while fourth and fifth went to Amanda Thompson and Colleen Rutledge. Both girls dropped time in their events.
Opdahl took first place in the 50 free with a 25.30 followed by Weaver for third and Kendra LaSota in fifth.
Eighth grader Mason Schlief stepped up for a varsity position in diving and placed fourth. Julie Helander finished first.
In the 100 fly, Banister placed second and Rutledge had a close finish and out stroke the Monte girl for third place.
In the 100 free, Entzi out touched Molly Grussing with a time of 59.13 and Grussing had a 59.23. Helander placed fourth and Lasota placed sixth.
In the 500 free, Smith placed second and Hannah Berg placed sixth.
"The most exciting race of the night was ninth grader Ari Maras beating her nearest competitor in the last 25 yards of the race and added a fourth and two crucial team points," said Hoffmann.
Maras ended up shaving off 32 seconds from the Willmar meet.
In the 200 free relay, the team of Amanda Thompson, Lasota, Rutledge, and Helander placed second with an improved time.
The Gators captured first, second, and fourth in the 100 back. Weaver had the winning time of 1:15.81, Halleigh Thompson placed second, and Hawkins finished fourth.
In the 100 breaststroke, Opdahl finished first with a winning time of 1:17.14. Schlief and Thompson captured fourth and fifth.
The 400 free relay was an exciting race to wrap up the meet. The Gators needed a first and third for the win. The relay team of Banister, Smith, Entzi, and Opdahl swam to a first-place 4:08.74. Narrowly missing second was the team of Helander, Weaver, Rutledge, and Hawkins. The third relay team of Thompson, Lasota, Berg and Agnes Dieter finished fifth.
The Gators lost to Litchfield Tuesday 96-81. Due to hot water at the Minnewaska pool the meet was relocated to the UMM pool.
"The Dragons came into town with a majority of their state qualifiers returning this year," said Hoffmann. "One of the top swimmers in the state sophomore Marissa Warren swam to two Litchfield pool records in her 'off' events, the 200 and 500 free.
"It's good for our swimmers to swim against the caliber of Litchfield, it tells them where they are at, and how much they need to work to get to the next level."
The Gators had three first-place finishes against the Dragons: Bridget Opdahl in the 50 and 100 free and Paige Entzi in the 200 IM.
Improved times were recorded by Mckayla Smith in the 200 and 500 free; Colleen Rutledge in the 100 fly and 200 IM; Alexis Banister in the 200 IM; Halleigh Thompson in the 50 free; Opdahl in the 100 free; Bridgitte Weaver in the 100 free; Karissa LaMont in the 100 breaststroke; Darrian DuVall in the 50 fly; and Kendra LaSota in the 100 breaststroke.
Section Qualifiers so far this season include Opdahl in the 50, 100 free and 100 breaststroke; Weaver in the 100 free, 100 back; Paige Entzi in the 200 IM, 100 back, 100 and 500 free; and Mckayla Smith in the 200 free.