It has been a busy two weeks for the Waconia swimming and diving team. Coming away with wins over St. Peter and Becker, the Wildcats also fell to conference rival Mound-Westonka/Holy Family.
Waconia 106, St. Peter 80
Last season, the Wildcats defeated St. Peter for the first time and for 2012, Waconia was able to put more emphasis on the win.
“I thought we could win and wanted to use some people in different areas,” head coach Amy Howard-Schmitt said, “but kept a few of my high point earners on the back burner in case I needed to swap them in at the end to make sure of a definite win.”
That coaching strategy paid off, and as St. Peter got as close as 10 points, Howard-Schmitt used her “insurance.”
“My ‘go to’ girls are the ones I know I can count on to compete at a high level no matter what event I throw at them and even on very little notice and very little rest and they perform with a great attitude,” she said.
The Wildcats had a top three finisher in nearly every event, beginning with the 200 yard medley relay. Winning the event was the team of freshman Jessica Stangret, senior Hannah Schultz, sophomore McKinna Kahl, and freshman Carolyn Schmieg (2:00.36). The Wildcats also had teams finishing second and third. Schmieg was first in the 200 freestyle (2:07.75). Sophomores Taylor Beynon (2:24.71) and Kahl (2:33.40) went 1-2 in the 200 IM. Schultz was second in the 50 free at 26.70 seconds.
In diving, junior Nicole Hennen took first with 185.35 points. Freshman Ella Hommer was three-tenths back in second at 185.05.
Junior Abigail Wessale (1:07.23) and senior Sophia Younkin (1:12.12) went 1-2 in the 100 fly for the Wildcats, while Kathryn Stangret took third in the 100 free (1:00.09). Jessica Stangret, Kahl, and Schuler went 1-2-3 in the 100 backstroke, before Beynon and Schultz went 1-2 in the 100 breaststroke. In the final event, the 400 free relay, Kathryn Stangret, Beynon, Carolyn Schmieg, and Jessica Stangret took first in 3:58.30.
The junior varsity ‘Cats fell to the Saints 90-78.
Waconia 125, Becker 61
The night got off to an exciting start on Oct. 2, as the 200 medley relay team of Jessica Stangret, Beynon, Kahl, and Schultz beat the pool record by just one one-hundredth of a second. They won the event with their 1:58.27, while Carolyn Schmieg, VanHoutte, Wessale, and Kathryn Stangret were second at 2:08.05. Jessica Stangret and Ruiz were 1-2 in the 200 free, as were Beynon and Sanborn in the 200 IM. Schultz and Gluck finished first and third in the 50 free.
Hennen and Hommer again went 1-2 in diving, with scores of 181.50 and 174.90, respectively. Kahl and Younkin were first and third in the 100 fly. Although finishing 4-5-6 in the 100 free, Saunders, sophomore Elle Swanson, and Kirby all posted personal best times by two or three seconds, a huge improvement for the short swim, according to Howard-Schmitt. Jessica Stangret, Carolyn Schmieg, and Ruiz were 1-2-3 in the 500 free. In the 200 free relay, Stangret, Schmieg, Kahl, and Schultz took first with 1:47.18, while Sanborn, Kathryn Stangret, Beynon, and Gluck were second at 1:52.53. Kahl and Schuler were 1-2 in the 100 back with times of 1:10.91 and 1:13.44. In the 100 breaststroke, Schultz cracked her personal best time, turning in a 1:14.88.
“Every time a girl can look up and see new numbers on the board or pass the next milestone, it’s huge,” Howard-Schmitt said. “Her 1:14.88 was a welcome sight for a girl who works hard day in and day out.”
VanHoutte finished third in the event at 1:18.63. In the 400 free relay, Waconia took first and third.
MW/HF 108, Waconia 78
Prior to the meet, Howard-Schmitt called Mound-Westonka/Holy Family a formidable opponent. In the past, Waconia has been able to defeat the team as two separate schools.
“But this year, they combine[d] their scores as one team and have been blowing the competition away even in a win against Hutchinson, the state champion team,” she said.
Despite the loss on the scoreboard, the Wildcats won on the record board, setting two new school records. Breaking their newly set record from the previous week, Jessica Stangret, Beynon, Kahl, and Schultz set a new time in the 200 medley relay with a 1:57.51. Beynon, who was just four-tenths shy of the record in the 200 IM against Becker, broke the record by one second. The former record, set by Beynon at sections last season, fell to her new time of 2:19.70.
The Wildcats won the 200 medley relay (Stangret, Beynon, Kahl, Schultz), the 200 free (Stangret), 200 IM (Beynon), 100 back (Stangret), and 100 breast (Beynon). The Waconia divers were 2-4-6, with Hennen (181.45), Hommer (157.60), and Megan Knudson (89.65). Mound-Westonka/Holy Family’s Kayla Lindeman won the diving competition (209.40).
The JV Wildcats won 114-69.