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More Gators qualify for sections
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The Minnewaska Area/Morris Area girls' swimming and diving team traveled to two meets and recorded many dropped times.

On Sept. 18, the Gators competed at St. Cloud Cathedral and on Tuesday the girls swam at Sauk Centre.

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Cathedral 100

MA/MA 84

Sophomore Natalie Johnston qualified in the 200 free with a time of 2:23.06 and freshman McKayla Smith also qualified in the 200 free with a time of 2:22.84.

"They swam a great race and dropped over five seconds in this event," said coach Linda Hoffmann. "Johnston narrowly missed qualifying in the 500 free."

Paige Entzi and Bridget Opdahl were the other first-place finishers in the swimming events.

Senior Jesika Tabor nailed her Back 1 somersault half twist that led to a great diving outing and qualified her for sections with a score of 145.

Sophomore diver Caroline Fritz was out ill, but junior Alex Kopel finished in fourth place.

Coaches Hoffmann and Tim Brooks changed around the lineup for the meet, and Kelsey Greenwaldt placed fourth in a new event for her, the 500 free.

Junior Varsity

95-50

The Gators captured eight firsts, led by Hannah Berg in the 200 freestyle and 100 fly, Brenna Monroe in the 100 breaststroke, and Augusta Finzel in the 50 freestyle with a time of 32.57.

Relay teams of Jessica Tabor, Monroe, Finzel and Julie Helander placed first in the 200 medley and 200 free relay.

Finzel was a part of the 400 Free Relay that placed first along with Helander, Chelsea Fangmeier and Rachel Karnik.

Sauk Centre 108

MA/MA 76

"Sauk Centre was fully loaded. All of the Mainstreeters' swimmers were back and they were ready to go," said Hoffmann. "Sauk just came off a minor upset by beating first place Foley last week, so they had something to prove to us this week. We had kept it close the last time we met."

The Gators had three first-place finishes including Bridget Opdahl in the 50 freestyle, Brittany Opdahl in the 100 breaststroke, and Caroline Fritz in diving.

The Gators also had many dropped times.

Johnston, swimming the  500 freestyle, gained her personal best and qualified for sections with a time of 6:25.47. She placed third for the Gators.

"She swam a great race," said Hoffmann.

Kelsey Greenwaldt and Tiana Barsness both missed qualifying by less than a second in the 500 freestyle, but dropped their times by seven seconds from the St. Cloud Cathedral meet.

Cindy Dahlseng and Caitlyn Parsons both swam the 500 on JV and did an excellent job.

"Dahlseng broke the seven-minute barrier and Parsons had a nice showing for her first time," Hoffmann said.

Emma Roberts dropped two seconds in the 200 Individual Medley, while Alexis Banister dropped eight seconds.

Laura Moe dropped time in the 200 IM with her lifetime personal best of a 2:39.12 and placed third. She qualified for sections in the 200 IM and also qualified in the 100 back with a time of 1:15.00.

Hannah Berg dropped time in her 100 Fly from the previous meet with a time of 1:32.75.

Bridget Opdahl continued to spring a little bit faster in the 50 free and dropped 4 tenths.

"In a 50 free sprint 4 tenths is a lot," explained Hoffmann.

Sophomore Megan Sanders dropped time in her 50 free and 100 back.

"Megan is improving rapidly and this is her second competitive season," Hoffmann said.

"The seventh and eighth graders continue to improve on all of their strokes," added Hoffmann. "They have an upbeat attitude that will only help them down the road."

Hoffmann said, "We have a few swimmers on the 'bubble' for qualifying. We would like to see Ana Billehus, Dani Boutain, Dahlseng and Parsons qualify in their freestyle events in the next week or two, as well as Alex Kopel in diving."

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