Swimmers rise for section
The Staples-Motley/Verndale swim team had some of their best races of the season at the Section 8A meet Nov. 11-12, as the team had two individuals and two relay teams in the top eight.
Lili Schneider placed 6th in the 100 meter breaststroke, Emily Veronen eighth in the 100 backstroke and Autumn Nelsen and Joelle Bounds placed eighth in the 200 medley relay and the 200 freestyle relay.
“This was a phenomenal end to the season,” said Coach Amanda Olson. “They’ve come together to swim even more like a team, more with confidence, and in turn are having more fun. It truly is amazing to see what a tough season followed by great tapered workouts can do for a team.”
The personal bests began dropping from the very first race of the meet. The medley relay team dropped five seconds to get into the finals with a 2:06.
In the individual medley, Veronen dropped four seconds (2:34) and finished 17th. Brianna Hinman dropped three seconds (2:50) and ended in 26th place.
In the 50 freestyle, Schneider (29.43) was 25th and Jaden Engebretson (29.78) was 27th, a two second drop in time.
Hinman swam 1:16 to place 20th in the 100 butterfly and Nelsen was 25th in 1:18.
Engebretson (1:07.0) and Aleeah Halverson (1:07.9) dropped time in the 100 freestyle to place 26th and 29th.
Bounds had the best 500 freestyle race of the season, shaving 12 seconds and finishing 19th in 6:23.
The 200 freestyle relay made it into the finals by just .03 seconds.
In the backstroke, Veronen had a three second drop to 1:07 to make the finals.
Schneider’s road to the finals included a personal best by two seconds to 1:15.
The 400 freestyle relay of Engebretson, Adriana Dickey, Halverson and Bounds dropped five seconds to finish 11th.
In the finals, the Cardinals did not quite match their times of the previous day, but still finished on the medal stand to earn points for the team.
Coach Olson said the team appreciates the guidance and support they’ve goten from Brainerd Coach Dan Anderson this season, and also commended the fans and communities of Staples, Motley and Verndale.
“My excitement at the start of this season is nothing compared to my excitement for this team’s future,” said Olson. “From what I’ve seen, one day this team will truly be a force to be reckoned with.”