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Doyle, Lukes, Bjorlie dominate at conference

The Austin High girls swimming and diving sure has produced some fantastic athletes.

Three former Austin High swimmers recently turned in spectacular performances at their respective conference meets.

Austin High graduate Shannon Doyle is a member of the swimming and diving team at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Doyle is a sophomore diver for the Eagles.

Fellow Austin High graduate Lindsay Lukes is a member of the swimming and diving team at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Lukes and Doyle were in action over the weekend at the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships in Milwaukee, Wis. And both turned in outstanding efforts.

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Doyle placed third in the

3-meter diving competition, but the scores between first, second and third place were extremely close. Doyle had 392.35 points, while the first-place diver had 396.55 and second was 394.8. But Doyle’s best performance came in the 1-meter diving competition. Doyle won the

1-meter diving conference title with a score of 400.80, besting the second-place finisher by more than 10 points and improving on her preliminary score by nearly 30 points. Doyle’s score in the 1-meter competition was good enough to qualify her for the NCAA Division III championships. Unfortunately, Doyle will not find out if she’s officially in the NCAA Championships for a few weeks as scores from around the country are compiled. Only a certain number of divers qualifier for the NCAA Championships. Doyle’s efforts on the diving board helped UW-La Crosse to the WIAC team title, edging out Lukes’ Pointers, who finished second.

Lukes had the best overall meet of her career. Lukes knocked 15 seconds off her previous best time in the 500 freestyle, claiming the WIAC title with a time of 5:01.89, which was a school record. In the 200 freestyle, Lukes cut six seconds off her best time to win the WIAC title and set a conference record in the process. Her time of 1:52.45 was a conference and a school record. The time also was an "A" qualifier time for the NCAA meet, which is March 18-21 at the University of Minnesota. In the 100 freestyle, Lukes had another personal-best time of 52.33, which was good enough for second place. That was was an NCAA "B" qualifier. Lukes also swam on three relay teams, and all three broke school records. The 800 freestyle relay team, which Lukes led off, shattered the school record by 10 seconds and was good for a WIAC record as well at 7:37.64. So far, it’s the seventh-fastest time in the nation among Division III schools. In the 400 freestyle relay, Lukes helped the Pointers place second with a time of 3:31.05. And in the 200 freestyle relay, Lukes and her teammates placed second in 1:35.74. Lukes swam in six events during the WIAC championships, and she is in the school record books for all six events. Oh yeah, and she’s not just great in the pool. Lukes also is a standout in the classroom, earning a spot on the dean’s list for the fifth consecutive semester.

On the opposite border of Minnesota, Austin High graduate Stacy Bjorlie is a member of the swimming and diving team at the University of South Dakota. Bjorlie is a senior who specializes in sprints. Bjorlie and the Coyotes were in action over the weekend at Northern Sun Conference championships. Bjorlie swam a personal-best time in the 100 butterfly, placing 11th with a time of 58.82. In the 100 freestyle, Bjorlie was second with a time of 51.86. That also was a personal-best time for Bjorlie. She also was second in the 50 freestyle with a time of 23.70. Bjorlie was a member of the 400 freestyle relay team that placed third in 3:31.21. Bjorlie swam the anchor leg for that relay, which set a school record. Bjorlie’s times in all three of her events were good enough to qualify her for the NCAA Division I championships. However, because the University of South Dakota is a new Division I school, the Coyotes will not be allowed to participate in the NCAA championships for three years. Bjorlie’s final collegiate meet will take place this weekend. She will swim at the Gopher-It Meet on the University of Minnesota campus.

Is your kid participating in college athletics? How about your neighbor’s kid? If you know of any former area standouts currently participating in college athletics, please contact Ben Pherson at bpherson@postbulletin.com.

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