November 15, 2022 at 2:32 p.m.

Melrose wins Section 6A swimming and diving championship

Melrose wins Section 6A swimming and diving championship
Melrose wins Section 6A swimming and diving championship

By Herman [email protected] | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Albany, Holdingford, Melrose compete in close pool races


The Albany and Melrose Area high school girls swim and dive teams both qualified swimmers for the Class A Minnesota State High School League Girls Swim and Dive Meet Nov. 12 at the Section 6A Meet at Discovery Middle School in Alexandria.

The Lady Dutchmen will send two relay teams and Hallie Drossel in the 200-yard individual medley and 200 breaststroke.≠≠ The Huskies are represented by Katie Spanier in the 100 backstroke and Emily McLachlan in the 500 freestyle.

Going to state is not new for Drossel. She is the defending Class A breaststroke champion. In the section meet this year, with a time of 1 minute, 4.51 seconds, she set the section and pool record. In the 200 individual medley, she took first by four seconds. She was favored in those events but was not taking anything for granted.

“I was so nervous,” she said. “I couldn’t sleep all night and was up super early this morning.”

Drossel has been known as a strong participant in the breaststroke for a few years. This year, she also started attracting attention in the individual medley.   

“I swim club in Alexandria and I swim a lot IM there,” she said.

She came away from the section meet with four first-place medals. The Lady Dutchmen won both the 200 medley relay and the 200 freestyle relay with the same quartet of swimmers: Brooke Ruoff, Drossel, Kaydence Bertram and Paige Gruber.

Drossel was not the only area swimmer coming from the section meet with a record. Spanier set the pace for a time in the 100 butterfly before finishing third in the event.

“I broke the school record in the 100 butterfly and then rebroke my own backstroke record,” Spanier said.

It was in the backstroke, where she finished second, that she really stood out. It was a race for second and a state berth between her and Melrose’s Makayla Zirbes. Spanier won by 0.66 seconds to return to state.

“You just have to swim your own race,” Spanier said. “This was what we practice for.”

McLachlan, also, came to the meet focused on her race, the 500 freestyle, the longest race of the day. She was the first seed following preliminaries Nov. 10. Knowing that helped and challenged her.

“It (the seed) is a confidence boost,” McLachlan said. “I wanted to make sure I wasn’t too comfortable. Today, I was focused on swimming my race and my times and how hard I could go.”

Going as hard as they could go proved key to the Melrose relay teams taking first place. The 200 medley relay team was in third when Ruoff finished the backstroke leg. Drossel pulled them into the lead in the breaststroke, and Gruber extended that advantage in the butterfly. Bertram held off challenges by Alexandria and Sauk Centre to seal the win.  All three of those teams qualified for the state meet.

The 200 freestyle relay, comprised of four 50-yard sprints, favored Rocori initially. Gruber and Bertram’s efforts in the last two laps clinched the race for Melrose.

The Lady Dutchmen saw two close state misses. Gruber missed the state cut in the 100 freestyle by .3 of a second and Makayla Zirbes fell short by .54 of a second in the 100 backstroke.

Melrose earned the team trophy with 406 points. Its first-place finishes helped, but team depth was the key to taking that trophy.

“We had a lot events where we put four in the top 16,” said Nathan Meyer, Melrose girls swim and dive head coach. “That’s how you win meets like this. We talked about the importance of winning those consolation heats and today, we came in first (ninth place) in a lot of the consolation races. That was huge as well for us.”.

Melrose outpointed runners-up Alexandria by 53 points. Albany finished fifth with 218.5 points and Holdingford was ninth with 73 points.

Molly Leners brought a number of those points to Holdingford, finishing sixth in the 100 breaststroke. She had a strong finish to earn that spot. Leners and Mekenna Bartkowicz, Maggie Gross and Madison Tschida finished the 400 freestyle relay in eighth place. The Husker 200 freestyle team of Paige Gerads, Kylie Breth, Kristyn Sand and Shailyn Welinski earned ninth place.

Another Husker swimming on the final day was Lynn Arvig, who finished 15th in the 500 freestyle.

200MR: 1. (M) Ruoff, Drossel, Gruber and Bertram 1:50.42; 4. (A) Brooke Hoffarth, McLachlan, Spanier and Trista Hoffarth 1:56.02. 200FS: 3. (M) Gruber 2:01.61, 6. (M) Jaiden Smith 2:04.36, 10. (M) Leah Seanger 2:10.10, 12. (A) Mckenzie Eiynck 2:11.99 and 13. (M) Maggie Frieler 2:12.44. 200IM: 1. (M) Drossel 2:10.87, 5. (A) McLachlan 2:17.40, 9. (A) Lynn Deters 2:29.67, 11. (H) Leners 2:34.77 and 14. (A) Teagan Crumley 2:38.18. 50FS: 4. (M) Bertram 25.37, 6. (A) Trista Hoffarth 25.69, 9. (M) Ruoff 26.33, 13. (H) Tschida 27.15, 14. (H) Gross 27.22 and 16. (A) Kaiden Gaebel 28.11. Diving: 7. (A) Brooke Hoffarth 336.35 points, 9. (M) Theresia Nathe 311.00, 12. (M) Elli Dockendorf 385.40 and 14. (M) Rylee Feldewerd 270.70. 100FLY: 3. (A) Spanier 1:02.56, 5. (M) Bertram 1:03.57, 8. (M) Zirbes 1:07.25, 9. (M) Georgia Anderson 1:05.16, 11. (M) Ava Wensmann 1:07.82 and 15. (A) Rayvin Pullins 1:10.94. 100FS: 3. (M) Gruber 54.56, 9. (M) Lauren Reed 57.31, 13. (H) Gross 59.40, 14. (A) Brooke Hoffarth 59.43 and 16. (H) Bartkowicz 1:01.91. 500FS: 2. (A) McLachlan 5:28.25, 4. (M) Smith 5:39.99, 6. (M) Frieler 5:43.59, 7. (M) Seanger 5:51.73, 12. (M) Ellie Heller 6:01.61, 13. (A) Eiynck 6:03.37, 15. (H) Arvig 6:15.66 and 16. (A) Pullins 6:18.22. 200FSR: 1. (M) Drossel, Ruoff, Gruber and Bertram 1:40.81; 7. (A) Deters, Gaebel, Crumley and Trista Hoffarth 1:49.37; 9. (H) Gerads, Breth, Sand and Welinski 1:53.74. 100BK: 2. (A) Spanier 1:01.03, 3. (M) Zirbes 1:01.69, 7. (M) Ruoff 1:04.88, 8. (M) Reed 1:05.88, 9. (M) Anderson 1:04.90 and 16. (A) Gaebel 1:10.72. 100BR: 1. (M) Drossel 1:04.51, 5. (A) Deters 1:14.19, 6. (M) Leners 1:16.05, 7. (M) Heller 1:16.75, 12. (A) Crumley 1:18.21, 13. (M) Ella Erdmann 1:19.44 and 14. (M) Madisyn Von Wahlde 1:19.96. 400FSR: 4. (A) Spanier, Trista Hoffarth, Brooke Hoffarth and McLachlan 3:46.59; 5. (M) Smith, Wensmann, Reed and Zirbes 3:53.33; 8. (H) Bartkowicz, Gross, Leners and Tschida 4:05.35.


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