HIBBING—The battle for second, third and fourth came to fruition at the Section 7A Preliminary Meet held Thursday at the Hibbing High School Pool.
Grand Rapids set itself up for a run at the title, but Rock Ridge, Mesabi East and Hibbing all came up with some good swims to set the wheels in motion for the Section 7A Swimming and Diving finals, which will take place Saturday, beginning at 3 p.m. at the high school pool.
The diving preliminaries will begin at 11 a.m.
If anyone can push the Thunderhawks, it could be the Wolverines, who had a good day in the pool.
“It went great,” Rock Ridge coach Perry Brown said. “The girls swam fantastic. We had very few small drops, but a lot of big drops. That’s what we’re looking for. We had some relays we were mixing up, and we had some kids that weren’t wearing speed suits.
“We’re going to get serious Saturday.”
Rock Ridge did get quite a few swimmers in the top eight, but they will have to move up if they want to get to state.
The Wolverines’ highest seed is Anna Heinonen, who is No. 4 in the 100 breaststroke. Samantha Bartovich is the No. 5 seed in the 100 500 freestyle.
Maggie Gripp, Heinonen, Hailey Pechonick and Emma Vukmanich have the No. 5 seed in the 200 medley relay
“We’ll speed suits on everybody,” Brown said. “We’re going to be less casual. We have four girls in almost every event, so we can score some points. We’ll be looking at that because we didn’t expect to be in that position.
“Things went well for us.”
Mesabi East put some swimmers in an excellent position to advance to state.
Summer Cullen-Line, Ashley Fossell, Kyra Skelton, Adriana Sheets have the No. 2 seed in the 200 medley relay; Mae Layman is the third seed in the 200 individual medley; Adriana Sheets is the No. 2 seed in the 50 and 100 freestyles; Kyra Skelton is the No. 4 seed in the 100 butterfly; and Aubree Skelton, Sheets, Layman, Kyra Skelton are the No. 3 seed in the 400 freestyle relay.
“We put ourselves in a position to do something today,” Mesabi East coach Jon Isaacson said. “That’s what we wanted to do. A few were close, but not quite good enough. Most of the time we got to where we needed to be.
“We handled it well. They swam well. We’ve rested, and we put on our fast suits and we were ready to go.”
Now, Isaacson is hoping his swimmers can maintain their spots, or move up.
“We’re hoping to get some qualifiers for the state meet,” Isaacson said. “It’s going to be a three-way battle for second place, and I hope we come out on top there. Our kids swam well but because it’s the finals, they can do better today.
“Our kids are good at swimming well under pressure. We’ll find out, but we’ll be ready.”
The Bluejackets, according to Coach Mike Veneziano, did well for themselves, too.
“The majority of our races dropped a boatload of time, substantial drops,” Veneziano said. “It was good to see that we turned the corner competitively. The kids have struggled all year with competitive nerves, and they got it going today.
“I’m pleased with our overall performance.”
Why did it happen?
“They finally believe in their training, and they believe in what they’re doing,” Veneziano said. “Before the meet, I pointed out a lot of logical things. You can go into a meet thinking that, ‘Hey, I hope I don’t blow my turn. I don’t want to have a slow turn.’
“You can take the evidence in the fact that we do so many turns and work on that stuff, so that’s false logic. Finally it sank in. The beautiful thing about that is that once they get past that and perform well, it starts a snowball effect where they start performing well.”
Hibbing put a number of swimmers in a position to advance to state, including Geli Stenson, who is the No. 2 seed in the 200 freestyle and No. 1 seed in the 500 freestyle; Madison St. George, who is the No. 3 seed in the 100 butterfly; Macie Emerson, Every Maki, St. George and Stenson, who are the No. 2 seeds in both the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.
Now, the Bluejackets, like the Giants, need to maintain those times or improve upon them.
“You never know what you’re going to get,” Veneziano said. “If we can come back and maintain the times that we got and these fantastic drops, or slightly improve, that’s fantastic.
“As far as the team stuff goes, I have no idea where we’re sitting. I’m not concerned about that. I wanted to see the performances that we got Thursday.”
Chisholm’s Tresa Baumgard has the No. 3 seed in the 50 freestyle, and she’s No. 4 in the 100 freestyle.
Northeast Range/Ely’s Lily Tedrick has the No. 4 seed in the 200 individual medley. Kelly Thompson, Tedrick, Anna Larson and Morgan McClelland have the No. 4 seed in the 200 medley relay.
Section 7A Preliminary Meet
200 medley relay—1. Grand Rapids (Alyssa Jackson, Hannah Rauzi, Chloe Peterson, Treasure Jager), 1:54.72; 2. Mesabi East (Summer Cullen-Line, Ashley Fossell, Kyra Skelton, Adriana Sheets), 1:58.87; 3. Proctor/Hermantown (Samantha Stevens, Norah Gunderson, Laney Gunderson, Summer Kienzle), 2:00.57; 4. Northeast Range/Ely (Kelly Thompson, Lily Tedrick, Anna Larson, Morgan McClelland), 2:02.47; 5. Rock Ridge (Maggie Gripp, Anna Heinonen, Hailey Pechonick, Emma Vukmanich), 2:04.78; 6. Hibbing (Mia Savage, Desiree DiIorio, Riley St. George, Ella Kalisch), 2:05.14; 7. International Falls (Mary Versteeg, Quianna Ford, Jillian Bilben, Kendra Kalstad), 2:05.95; 8. Chisholm (Hanna Halberg, Emma Sundquist, Magie Nelson, Tresa Baumgard), 2:07.72.
200 freestyle—1. Hannah Sandman, CEC, 2:02.32; 2. Geli Stenson, H, 2:02.76; 3. Nevaeh Hoard, GR, 2:04.84; 4. Ava Niksich, PH, 2:07.79; 5. McClelland, NRE, 2:08.04; 6. Samantha Bartovich, RR, 2:08.28; 7. Dani Logan, RR, 2:08.96; 8. Adeline Butzke, ME, 2:11.82.
200 individual medley—1. Norah Gunderson, PH, 2:21.76; 2. Petersen, GR, 2:23.22; 3. Mae Layman, ME, 2:26.56; 4. Tedrick, NRE, 2:26.79; 5. Kalisch, H, 2:27.16; 6. Mia Stark, RR, 2:28.44; 7. Ford, IF, 2:29.64; 8. Julia Peterson, CEC, 2:30.62.
50 freestyle—1. Megan Chopskie, CEC, 25.44; 2. Sheets, ME, 25.58; 3. Baumgard, C, 25.71; 4. Bilben, IF, 25.94; 5. Macie Emerson, H, 25.95; 6. Emery Maki, H, 26.15; 7. Kienzle, PH, 26.52; 8. Livia Dugas, THSB, 26.56.
100 butterfly—1. Sophia Verke, GR, 1:00.98P; 2. Jackson, GR, 1:02.15; 3. Madison St. George, H, 1:03.60; 4. Kyra Skelton, ME, 1:04.63; 5. Selah Smith, GR, 1:06.19; 6. Pechonick, RR, 1:06.69; 7. Raini Gibson, H, 1:06.80; 8. Layman, ME, 1:06.98.
100 freestyle—1. Hannah Rauzi, GR, 56.07; 2. Sheets, ME, 56.26; 3. Sandman, CEC, 56.51; 4. Baumgard, C, 56.83; 5. Emerson, H, 57.33; 6. Maki, H, 57.50; 7. Aubree Skelton, ME, 57.68; 8. Stark, RR, 58.23.
500 freestyle—1. Stenson, H, 5:41.81; 2. Nevaeh Hoard, GR, 5:44.72; 3. Dugas, THSB, 5:46.68; 4. Niksich, PH, 5:47.05; 5. Bartovich, RR, 5:47.05; 6. Logan, RR, 5:49.13; 7. Butzke, ME, 5:54.39; 8. Peterson, CEC, 5:56.19.
200 freestyle relay—1. Grand Rapids (Verke, Nevaeh Hoard, Petersen, Hannah Rauzi), 1:41.09; 2. Hibbing (Emerson, Maki, Madison St. George, Stenson), 1:45.08; 3. Cloquet/Esko/Carlton (Chopskie, Julia Peterson, Emma Peterson, Sandman), 1:46.75; 4. International Falls (Versteeg, Ford, Sylvia Valenzuela, Bilben), 1:47.72; 5. Northeast Range/Ely (Tedrick, Larson, Thompson, McClelland), 1:48.83; 6. Mesabi East (Cullen-Line, Fossell, Kerbie Olmstead, Butzke), 1:49.57; 7. Two Harbors/Silver Bay (Dugas, Erica Kaczrowski, Ava Oswald-Swenson, Maddy Bjornstad), 1:49.63; 8. Rock Ridge (Ellie Bjorge, Amelia Kober, Tayler Harju, Jaelyn Parks), 1:51.70.
100 backstroke—1. Verke, GR, 59.25; 2. Jackson, GR, 1:01.87; 3. Chopskie, CEC, 1:04.20; 4. Smith, GR, 1:05.09; 5. Kalisch, H, 1:07.06; 6. Cullen-Line, ME, 1:07.23; 7. Savage, H, 1:07.98; 8. Vukmanich, RR, 1:10.04.
100 breaststroke—1. Hannah Rauzi, GR, 1:10.09; 2. Norah Gunderson, PH, 1:10.67; 3. Petersen, GR, 1:13.53; 4. Anna Heinonen, RR, 1:13.89; 5. Tedrick, NRE, 1:14.82; 6. Lauren Rauzi, GR, 1:14.65; 7. Peterson, CEC, 1:17.94; 8. Ford, IF, 1:18.55.
400 freestyle relay—1. Grand Rapids (Jackson, Hoard, Smith, Verke), 3:44.23; 2. Hibbing (Maki, Emerson, Madison St. George, Stenson), 3:50.42; 3. Mesabi East (Aubree Skelton, Sheets, Mae Layman, Kyra Skelton), 3:51.41; 4. Cloquet/Esko/Carlton (Chopskie, Peterson, Peterson, Sandman), 3:54.92; 5. Proctor/Hermantown (Kienzle, Gunderson, Gunderson, Niksich), 3:54.92; 6. International Falls (Versteeg, Valenzuela, Kalstad, Bilben), 4:05.54; 7. Rock Ridge (Bartovich, Maggie Koskela, Vukmanich, Kober), 4:06.47; 8. Two Harbors/Silver Bay (Dugas, Oswald-Swenson, Oswald-Swenson, Bjornstad), 4:07.41.