Packers sitting good for section finals

Teammates cheer on Maddie Kinney of Austin as she competes in the Girls 200 Yard IM Wednesday at the Girls Section 1A Swimming and Diving Championships held at Ellis Middle School.

Several Austin girls posted personal best marks and there were even a few runs at school records in Wednesday's preliminaries of the Class A, Section One swimming and diving meet at the Ellis pool.

Leading the way for the Austin Packers was senior Helen Heimark, who had two strong individual finishes and also has a shot at state in a pair of relay events. Heimark was second in the 200-yard freestyle and had the fastest time in the 100-yard freestyle.

After besting her seed time by almost four seconds in the 200 freestyle, Heimark had an even better race in the 100 freestyle. In the next lane to Emily Anderson, of Northfield, who had the fastest seed time in the 100 freestyle, Heimark exploded out of the gate and led the whole way in her heat with a time of 54.20 seconds.

"I was motivated to make a run at the school record of 53.70 in the 100 and my goal is to get the record in the finals," Heimark said. "I got up on the block and decided to go as fast as I could throughout the race. I'm glad the girl with the fastest seed time was in the next lane, because that gave me more motivation and it was a fun race."

Divers got the section meet started earlier in the afternoon and Autumn Laury, of Austin, finished second in the preliminaries. The top four divers qualify for state and Laury finished fifth last year at the section. This year she got off to a good start with a 222.95 score.


"Autumn is in good shape for the finals and right where she needs to be for a shot at state," Austin coach Lynn Gulbrandson said. "A lot of our girls had personal best times in the preliminaries, so they did well. This round is all about putting yourself in the proper position for Friday night."

The top 16 individuals qualify for the finals in each event with the first eight making it to the championship round. There are also a pair of alternates for each event. In the relays, the top eight went to the finals.

Austin had qualifiers for the finals in all of the relay events. The 200-yard medley relay team started the night with a fourth-place finish. The 200 freestyle relay was over a second faster than the seed time and finished fourth in the preliminaries.The 400 freestyle relay team bested its seed time by six seconds and finished third on the night.

"We're in good shape for the relays," Heimark said. "The team has never been that fast in the 4 x 100, so we're feeling good about our chances to make state. The energy level will be really high for the finals."

Merideth Fritz joined Heimark on the 200 and 400 relays, plus had a solid race in the 100-yard butterfly. Fritz was fourth in that event and teammate Emily McAlister was right behind her in fifth-place for the butterfly.

Rachel Vos, of the Packers, swam a personal best and finished fourth in the 500-yard freestyle. Maddie Kinney was in the top eight for the 100-yard backstroke and Emily McAlister placed eighth in the 100 breaststroke event.

Section 1A championship round is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start on Friday. This round will be run like a regular dual meet with the diving competition in the middle of the events schedule.



(Austin results)

200 medley relay — 4. (Maddie Kinney, Emily McAlister, Merideth Fritz, Lindsey McAlister), 1:55.32.

200 freestyle— 2. Helen Heimark 1:59.51; 14. Rachel Vos 2:10.37.

200 individual medley— 10. Maddie Kinney 2:28.55.

50 freestyle— 16. Mikayla Finney 26.69.

Diving— 2. Autumn Laury 222.95; 15. Bailey Corey 168.15.

100 butterfly— 4. Fritz 1:01.06; 5. Emily McAlister 1:03.90; 18. Katelyn Hillson 1:10.94.

100 freestyle— 1. Heimark 54.20; 7. Lindsey McAlister 56.51.


500 freestyle— 4. Rachel Vos 5:42.41.

200 freestyle relay— 4. (Lindsey McAlister, Emily McAlister, Fritz, Heimark), 1:42.56.

100 backstroke— 8. Kinney 1:06.09; 14. Emma Kleis 1:07.66.

100 breaststroke— 8. Emily McAlister 1:14.41; 18. Jessi Bednar 1:18.99.

400 freestyle relay— 3. (Heimark, Fritz, Kinney, Lindsey McAlister), 3:45.13.

What To Read Next
Get Local