After a feeler meet at Hutchinson on Aug. 25, where the Wildcats finished eighth of nine teams, the Waconia swimming and diving team brought home a 94-92 win over Orono on Aug. 28.
For the first time in head coach Amy Howard-Schmitt’s seven-year career at Waconia, the Wildcats defeated Orono. One of Howard-Schmitt’s season goals had been to keep up with Orono, as well as Dassel-Cokato.
“I just wanted to get close,” said Howard-Schmitt, “but to beat [Orono] was amazing.”
At the meet, things went well for the Wildcats throughout, beginning with a win in the 200 medley relay. Jessica Stangret, Taylor Beynon, Taylor Kahl, and Carolyn Schmieg teamed up to win the race in 2:01.18.
Beynon went on to finish second in the 200 IM with a time of 2:23.27. Another second place finish came in the form of Hannah Schultz in the 50 free (27.16) and Rachael Sanborn in the 100 free (1:01.50).
The Wildcats were 2-3-4 in the 100 fly, with Abigail Wessale (1:12.29), Sophia Younkin (1:12.81), and Kahl (1:13.39).
The 200 free relay finished second in 1:48.47 with swimming by Schmieg, Kahl, Schultz, and Stangret.
Stangret, Schmieg, and Kahl immediately returned to the pool to go 1-2-3 in the 100 backstroke. Stangret won the event in 1:01.70, followed by Schmieg (1:06.43), and Kahl (1:13.61).
Beynon and Schultz went 1-2 in the 100 breaststroke with times of 1:15.01 and 1:16.57, respectively.
Mari Rathke and Harley Ruiz went 3-4 in the 500 free, finishing less than half a second apart, in 6:13.68 and 6:13.97.
After a lot of swimming, the meet came down to the final event. Howard-Schmitt said in order to win the meet, the Wildcats had to either win the event or finish 2-3 to gather enough points. With two strong teams of Schmieg, Stangret, Beynon, and Sanborn, as well as Rathke, Ruiz, Alyssa Kirsch, and Nicole Schuler, the Wildcats were 2-3 in the event. Schmieg, Stangret, Beynon, and Sanborn were second in 3:56.90, while Rathke, Ruiz, Kirsch, and Schuler were third at 4:22.81 to win the meet for the Wildcats.
In diving, Nicole Hennen and Ella Hommer went 1-2 with scores of 155.50 and 154.00, respectively. Howard-Schmitt said the pair have created a strong diving duo and are always topping each other.
“They’re a real good force this year for us,” Howard-Schmitt said.
The Wildcats will be at Litchfield Sept. 6, before returning home to host New Prague and Dassel-Cokato on Sept. 11 and 13.