Girls Swimming: Mayo may be Section 1AA favorite
Rochester John Marshall has won five straight Section One, Class AA swimming and diving team championships, but that streak could be in jeopardy this season.
The Section 1AA meet is scheduled for Thursday and Saturday at the Olmsted County Recreational Center. Mayo, the Big Nine Conference champion, figures to have a strong shot at winning the section title as well.
"We have yet to see Farmington or Hastings yet this season, but they always have a lot to bring to the table," Mayo coach Juliet Parlette said. "Farmington seems to be having a great season, so that should make for some really great races. Hastings always has some fast swimmers."
Parlette is not discounting some of the other Big Nine schools from competing for a section team title.
"We saw some excellent swims at conference from Owatonna, Winona, Century and John Marshall as well, so they will be in the mix," she said.
Of course winning a section team title is always a goal for the teams with quality swimmers and those who also feature some depth. But the main goal is trying to earn state berths for individuals and relays.
"We look to do well and hope to go to state in the 200 freestyle, 200 IM, 50 and 100 freestyle and the 100 butterfly," Parlette said. "Our most successful event all season has been the 500 freestyle — and we intend to score a lot of points and get swimmers to state there also."
Juniors Hannah Baratz, Olivia Cook and Michelle Campeau are Mayo's top individual contenders. All were state qualifiers a year ago.
John Marshall senior Taylor Bass won the 100 freestyle at the Big Nine Conference meet and could be the section favorite in the event. Bass won a state title in the 200 IM as a sophomore, but is likely to swim in the 100 backstroke in the section meet along with the 100 freestyle.
Seniors Anna Becker and Taylor Emery and other returning state qualifiers for JM.
Century sophomore Andrianna Jacobs was a state qualifier in diving and she figures to have a very strong shot at returning again this year. She should get stiff competition from Kalley Schwab from Owatonna. The top four section divers earn state berths.
"We have some outside shots on a relay or two and an individual or two," Century coach Dale Magnuson said. "We are also hoping for another Gold Academic Award and will see where we fall among the other teams."