The Morris Area/ Minnewaska Area girls were competitive in swimming and diving meets in the middle of September.
Sauk Centre 106
The Gators traveled to Sauk Centre on Sept. 10.
In the 100 breaststroke, the top four places were separated by two seconds. Freshman Natalie Holte and senior captain Brittany Opdahl finished first and second.
Other first place finishes went to Caroline Fritz in diving and Paige Entzi in the 100 backstroke.
Holte's time in the 100 breast, as well as the 50 freestyle, were time drops. Other time drops were recorded by Emma Roberts in the 200 individual medley, Natalie Johnston in the 200 and 500 freestyles, Caitlyn Parsons in the 100 and 200 freestyles, Bridgette Weaver in the 50 freestyle (as well as in diving), and Amy Goette with a five-second cut in the 100 backstroke.
Making section cuts were Augusta Finzel in the 100 backstroke, Johnston in the 200 and 500 freestyle, McKayla Smith in the 100 freestyle, and Entzi in the 100 freestyle.
Divers Alex Kopel and Fritz scored personal bests of 129.60 and 159.40, respectively.
Bridget Opdahl had a personal best in the 100 freestyle. Alexis Banister's personal best was in the 500 freestyle. Finzel swam a personal best in the 50 freestyle and Smith's time in the 100 freestyle was a personal best for her.
"We were a little off in some events from our win over Milaca, but we still had good swim times and the improvement is there," said coach Linda Hoffmann.
St. Cloud Cathedral 99
The meet against the Crusaders at Minnewaska on Sept. 17 came down to the final relay - the 400 freestyle. The Gators took second in the event. A first-place and third-place finish would have resulted in a tie.
"We had an outstanding meet where grit and hard work overcame adversities," said Hoffmann. "We had three varsity swimmers out for the meet with illness and two with injuries. In close meets, those absences show up on the bottom line - the win/loss department.
"I was proud of the girls in how they swam and dove. The swimmers swam their hearts out on the last event and throughout the meet."
Bridget Opdahl placed first in two events, the 50 free and 100 free, both personal-best times.
Tiana Barsness took first in the 100 butterfly with a personal-best time of 1:09.72.
The 200 freestyle relay finished first.
Dani Boutain's third-place finish in the 200 freestyle was a four-second time drop and a personal best.
Banister had a five-second drop in the 200 individual medley.
Entzi's time of 1:11.50 was a personal best in the 100 butterfly.
Johnston swam a season-best time in the 500 freestyle for second place.
Finzel swam a personal best in the 200 free relay of 1:16.46.
The Gators traveled to Melrose on Sept. 24.
"I was impressed with our girls, how they stepped up and swam competitively," said Hoffmann. "We had many close races with them and then we would get eked out at the finish.
"We continued to have time drops and that is nice to see."
Johnston dropped time in the 500 freestyle and swam a personal best in the 200 individual medley and narrowly missed qualifying for sections in that event.
Bridget Opdahl swam her best time of the season in the 50 freestyle with a 26.79.
Banister dropped nine seconds in the 500 free and missed the section cut by three.
Senior Kelsey Greenwaldt qualified in two events, the 50 free and 100 butterfly.
The 200 medley relay of Entzi, Holte, Opdahl, and Opdahl swam a personal best time and narrowly missed the school record.
The 400 free relay team of Bridget Opdahl, Barsness, Entzi, and Johnston swam a personal best time of the season with a 4:05.84, three seconds off the school record.