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Gators drop close meet at RFC

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The Morris Area/Minnewaska girls' swimming and diving team lost a nail biter to the Thunderhawks Thursday, Oct. 6 at the RFC. 

It was parents night, the Morris Pep Band played, and a good crowd was on hand from the home team as well as Montevideo.

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"We knew the meet would be very close because of the earlier meeting this year when we won by nine points and this time around we were without varsity swimmer Amanda Thompson due to illness," explained coach Linda Hoffmann. "We missed having her in our 200 medley relay and the 100 breaststroke.

"The fans were not disappointed as the 200 medley relay was a close one to the finish," added Hoffmann. "The Gators were outtouched and came in with a second and a fourth."

Only the top three places score in relays. 

"The Gators were down 10-4," said Hoffmann. "They reversed their poor fortune in the 200 free with Bridgitte Weaver and Alexis Banister placing first and second with Banister qualifying for sections in this event and Weaver lowering her winning time to a 2:16."

Ari Maras also improved her time by two seconds.

In the 200 individual medley Paige Entzi placed first with a winning time of 2:30 and was followed by a third-place finish by Colleen Rutledge and a fifth by Darrian DuVall who dropped four seconds in this event.

In the 50 free the Gators outscored the Thunderhawks 9-7 with Bridget Opdahl and McKayla  Smith placing at first and third. Halleigh Thompson placed 6th.

The Gators had a 33-29 score going into the diving competition.

"In diving Julie Helander finished second with a score of 144 points and Mason Schlief had an outstanding dive night with 100 points."

The first-place diver Alyssa Parker scored 153 points.

In the 100 fly, Banister, new comer to the event Eden Testa, and Darrian Duvall finished third, fourth, and fifth, respectively. Testa improved her time from time trials with a time of 1:35.

All Gators had personal bests in the 100 free: Weaver with a one-second drop, Helander with a three-second cut, and Paige Hawkins with a two-second cut, but were outscored 9-7.

In the 500 free the Gators' McKayla Smith finished second, Ari Maras placed fifth, and Agnes Dieter and Hannah Berg rounded out the quartet.

The 200 free relay was another close race, with the Gators outswimming and out touching the Thunderhawks to place first, but was out touched for a crucial third. The quartet of Banister, Helander, Weaver and Opdahl edged out the Thunderhawks by less than a second and finished first with a time of 1:52. In fourth place was the team of  Kendra LaSota, H. Thompson, Chelsea Fangmeier, and Hawkins.

In the 100 backstroke Entzi finished first with a time of 1:07, followed in fourth by Colleen Rutledge and eighth grader Meghan Thoen finished sixth. Both Rutledge and Thoen had time drops.

In the 100 breaststroke Opdahl placed first with a winning time of 1:16, followed by three Thunderhawks swimmers and a fifth place by Mason Schlief with a new improved time of 1:25. Seventh grader Tristin Heald dropped four seconds and Kendra LaSota also dropped five seconds in this event.

Heading into the last event, the 400 free relay, the Gators were down 88-82 and needed a first and third to win. The Gators got the first and the third with the raucous crowd cheering from the balcony, but later found out the Gator first place finishers were disqualified due to a early relay takeoff and therefore the Thunderhawks captured first with the crucial eight points and the victory.

  In JV action the Gators lost a close one 96-87.

  Overall 25 new and improved times were recorded for the Gators.

  "Even though the Gators lost, the swimmers could hold their heads high with outstanding swims on the night and the parents and grandparents were proud of their efforts."

Bridget Opdahl was named the West Central Conference Swimmer of the week for the week of  Sept. 26-30 with her solid efforts against Holdingford.

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