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Sister act — making waves at state meet

Wittmers — Emma and Rachel — haul in plenty of medals

By Marc Lunde

mlunde@postbulletin.com

Emma and Rachel Wittmer are the kind of kids who don’t say much. They let their performance do the talking.

Both sisters were runners-up for individual points in their respective age categories at the 2008 USA Swimming Minnesota 12-and-under state championships at the Rochester Recreation Center on Saturday.

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"They’re great, every coaches dream," Rochester Orcas coach Steve Varney said.

Emma, 10, was the only Rochester swimmer to win an event, taking down both the 50-yard butterfly and 50 freestyle.

"I thought I might be able to get on the podium," Emma said. "It’s a great feeling to be here, just getting to swim."

Rachel set five personal-best times in six races. The 8-year-old got used to the podium, finishing as high as second.

The races for top point-getter were close. Emma, with 136 total points, beat out the third-place swimmer by one point in the 9-10 age division.

Rachel tied with 98 points for runner-up in the 8-and-under division.

"Emma is very dedicated, focused, and listens to what you say. "She isn’t afraid of success or hard work," Varney said.

"Rachel is more of a free-spirited swimmer, and I don’t think she is quite aware of what she can do."

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Taylor Bass of Rochester swam unattached to any team. The 12-year-old’s points were not accredited to any program, but her 116 total was good enough for fifth in the 11-12 girls division.

She took second in the 100 free with a personal-best 55.81 seconds.

Page D4: Orcas finish fifth

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