The Waconia swimming and diving team now has a state-ranked swimmer in its midst. Freshman Jessica Stangret finished fifth at the state competition last weekend in the 100 backstroke.
The Wildcats took three events to the state meet, held Nov. 15-17 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. Diving preliminaries were Nov. 15, with swimming beginning on Nov. 16.
Waconia head coach Amy Howard-Schmitt said she was excited to be bringing multiple events to the state competition.
“So proud to be able to bring more to state this year,” she said. “The girls really wanted it.”
Waconia competed in the very first event of the swimming meet, the 200 medley relay. Stangret, along with senior Hannah Schultz, sophomore McKinna Kahl, and freshman Carolyn Schmieg, finished 17th overall with a time of 1:54.16. The Wildcats just narrowly missed the cutoff for the consolation heat. A team from Park Rapids Area snagged the last spot with a time of 1:53.97.
Howard-Schmitt said Schultz, with her breaststroke split of 31.62 seconds, was one of, if not the best split in team history.
“The medley relay did well in that being new to state, the typical response would be to tighten up but they stayed very close to their best section cut time [1:53.92],” Howard-Schmitt said.
Sophomore Taylor Beynon made her state debut in the 200 IM, finishing 17th in 2:16.64. Beynon also barely missed the consolation heat cutoff, taken by St. Louis Park senior Hannah Hein (2:16.48).
In the preliminary round of the 100 backstroke, Stangret was second in her heat, fifth overall with a time of 59.13 seconds. In the championship final on Nov. 17, Stangret also finished fifth in 58.73 seconds. Sartell-St. Stephen’s senior Ellen Bloom won the state title in 56.36 seconds.
“Great to podium!” Howard-Schmitt said.
She explained that Beynon and Stangret, who had lowest times of the season at the section meet, saw higher times at the state meet.
“These girls had such great tapers and huge time drops at sections that this was to be expected. Their body’s natural response is to try to acclimate. When you have a big drop [like at sections], it bounces back a bit and then returns to the lower time,” Howard-Schmitt said.
Look for a full season wrap in the coming weeks.