The Waconia swimming and diving section roster has been set and the twenty-two Wildcat swimmers are ready for the Section 3A competition, which begins with preliminaries tonight, Nov. 8, at Hutchinson High School.
Those that make it through the first cut of competition will swim in the finals on Nov. 9. To qualify for the state meet, a swimmer must either place first or second in the section event, or beat a predetermined time in the finals.
Head coach Amy Howard-Schmitt said she knows the Wildcats won’t be able to place first or second in many, if any, events, but hopes to have a few state qualifiers based on time. Powerhouse swimming teams like Hutchinson and Mound-Westonka/Holy Family are likely to take the top spots in various events.
Waconia will compete against Wright County Conference competitors Dassel-Cokato, Mound-Westonka/Holy Family, Hutchinson, Litchfield, and Orono, along with section teams Chaska, Montevideo, Willmar, and Marshall.
Led by seniors Hannah Schultz, Alexanna Gluck, Sophia Younkin, Alissa Kirby, and Alexis VanHoutte, the section team boasts many experienced swimmers in juniors Rachael Sanborn, Corinn Schmieg, and Abigail Wessale, sophomores Taylor Beynon, McKinna Kahl, Marri Saunders, Elle Swanson, and Harley Ruiz, freshmen Emily Mohr, Carolyn Schmieg, and Jessica Stangret, and eighth grader Emma Lohman. Seventh graders Karissa Ohlsen, Kathryn Stangret, and Nicole Schuler will get their first taste of a varsity section tournament this weekend, as they make their debuts.
Junior Nicole Hennen and freshman Ella Hommer will represent Waconia on the diving board.
Last season, Jessica Stangret was the lone Wildcat to make it through sections and on to state. This year, Howard-Schmitt has high hopes of multiple individuals and perhaps a relay at the state meet.
The state swimming and diving meet will begin Nov. 15 at the University of Minnesota.