Swimming & Diving: Tigers 5th at Missota meetA fifth-place team finish at last Saturday's Missota Conference Championships in Shakopee has Farmington girls swimming and diving coach Jen Marshall confident her athletes are ready to make big strides at next week's Section 1AA meet.
By: Matt Steichen, The Farmington Independent
A fifth-place team finish at last Saturday's Missota Conference Championships in Shakopee has Farmington girls swimming and diving coach Jen Marshall confident her athletes are ready to make big strides at next week's Section 1AA meet.
"We swam well at the conference meet. The girls' performances indicate to me that we'll have another unbelievable section meet, which is our tradition at the section championships," Marshall said. "Some girls were a bit disappointed with their swims but it's important to remember that their bodies are still tired right now so they shouldn't necessarily be swimming their fastest right now."
Farmington scored 277.5 team points, 100 off the pace of meet champion Hutchinson, but five Tigers earned all-conference honors and senior Katrina Fitzgerald successfully defended her individual title in the 1-meter dive with a first-place score of 368.19 points. Fitzgerald topped the preliminary round with a score of 169.77 and the semifinal round with a 261.09 before taking the finals with a 60-point margin of victory.
"(Fitzgerald) is diving well right now," Marshall said. "The next week and a half she'll be working to fine tune the smaller things in her dives and board work."
Sophomore Caitlin Kracke and seventh-grader Kaitlyn O'Reilly joined Fitzgerald as all-conference performers. Kracke finished third individually in the 100 and 200 freestyles and swam legs of the third-place 200 freestyle relay and fifth-place 400 freestyle relay, while O'Reilly earned fourth place in both the 200 medley relay and 200 individual medley and sixth in the 100 backstroke in 1:05.07.
"Caitlin Kracke had her best conference meet yet. She swam with tenacity which was exciting to see," Marshall said. "I was also pleased with how Kaitlyn O'Reilly, Sara Kintner, and Chloe Holton performed with it being their first high school championship meet. All three have a lot of experience swimming in club meets but high school swimming is a bit different and I never know how they'll respond to the different atmosphere."
Junior Kristin Peters and sophomore Elizabeth Wolfe also responded well to the conference meet atmosphere. Each earned all-league honorable mention honors. Wolfe placed second in the 100 breaststroke in 1:12.68 and joined O'Reilly, Callie Rossel and Rilee Carufel on the fourth-place 200 medley relay, while Peters contributed legs to the third-place 200 freestyle relay and fifth-place 400 freestyle relay.
Another strong series of performances came from freshman Biff Donner, who placed fifth in the 50 freestyle in 26.53 and swam legs of the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.
The Tigers will have had 12 full days off by the time the Section 1AA championships get under way next Thursday at Rochester Recreation Center. Finals will be held on Saturday, Nov. 15.
1. Hutchinson, 377
2. Prior Lake, 362.5
3. Red Wing, 340.5
4. Shakopee, 306
5. Farmington, 277.5
6. Northfield, 245.5
7. New Prague, 91
8. Holy Angels, 37