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Area swimmers excited to make memories, head to state meet

The girls swimming and diving state meet was not held a year ago due to COVID. This season the meet returns and Rochester has plenty of Class AA state qualifiers. The event will be held Thursday-Saturday at the University of Minnesota.

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Century junior Emily Garrison has qualified for the Class AA state tournament in three events, the 100 butterfly and a pair of relays. The meet will be held Thursday-Saturday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. Post Bulletin file photo / Traci Westcott
Traci Westcott

Sure, winning a state championship is the ultimate goal, but Rochester swimmers and divers are just happy to get a chance to compete at the Class AA high school state meet this season.

A year ago the meet was not held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the three-day event — today through Saturday — is a full-go this season at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. And Rochester will be well-represented at the meet.

“We’re just going in, having fun and are going to enjoy the moment,” Century senior Avery Severson said, "because not every girl gets to experience this. So I’m just going to try and lead my teammates and have a fun time.”

Century has state qualifiers in nine of the 12 events. Junior Katherine Homme (50 freestyle, 500 freestyle) and eighth-grader Sophia Blixt (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle) both earned two individual state berths for Century and are on two state relay teams.

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“I’m super excited,” Homme said. “State my freshman year was one of my favorite memories from the season. So I’m looking forward to going up and swimming at the ‘U’ and just having a fun time. It’s a great opportunity and a final hurrah for the season.”

Blixt would have been a state qualifier a year ago on a relay, but no state meet was held.

“High school is very different from club (swimming) so I want to see the difference between the two states (meets),” Blixt said. “And I have a lot of friends up in the Cities so it’s going to be fun to see them again.”

Mayo has state qualifiers in seven events while John Marshall has one swimmer who qualified, eighth-grader Julia Ogren, the Section 1AA champion in the 200 freestyle.

“I’m just excited to be there and have the opportunity to go,” Ogren said. “I’ll just kind of go with the flow and see what happens.”

Mayo senior Ava Gustafson and junior Natalie Boorjian will both be part of four state entries, two individual events and two relay events.

“I’m so excited for everyone,” Boorjian said. “Both our relays made it so I’m excited for that, too.”

Gustafson and Boorjian are the two highest seeded individual swimmers among the Rochester state qualifiers. Gustafson will go in as the No. 3 seed in the 100 breaststroke.

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“I would like to (reach the) final at state,” Gustafson said. “And top eight would be amazing.”

The top eight swimmers in the preliminary round in each event earn a berth in the championship finals. Those placing ninth to 16th swim in the consolation round.

After swimming a 1:03.97 in the Section 1AA 100 breaststroke final, Gustafson is looking to hit a time of 1:03.19 at the state meet.

“I hope to go faster,” she said. “(Coach) Juliet’s (Parlette's) tapers are very good and I trust it, and I trust her. She knows what she’s doing so I’m very excited to get back to work and race.”

Boorjian is seeded fourth in the 50 freestyle and fifth in the 500 freestyle.

“I'm just looking for best times,” she said.

Century's best seed is the 200 freestyle relay team of Blixt, Severson, Sarah Homme and Katherine Homme; they are No. 3. Century's 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays have also qualified for state.

“It’s been awesome,” Severson said. “This team has been the dream team. We thought last year was the dream team, but I think this year has been even better. It’s been great.”

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Century's individuals will likely have to cut significant time to earn berths in the championship finals. The Panthers do not have any individuals seeded in the top eight.

“I think we can (go faster),” Severson said. “And maybe even go to the finals and get top eight at state.”

“We’ll try to go as fast as we can and see how it pans out,” Katherine Homme added. “I definitely do not doubt our ability to smash best times once again. I think it’s going to be a good meet.”

CLASS AA STATE MEET

WHERE: University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.

WHEN: The diving preliminary round is on Thursday. The swimming prelim round is on Friday. The swimming and diving championship finals and consolation finals are on Saturday. Each sessions begins at 6 p.m.

ROCHESTER STATE QUALIFIERS:

(Includes section finish and time )

200 medley relay — 2. Mayo (Elise Weingarten, Ava Gustafson, Madeline Gau, Natalie Boorjian) 1:48.91, 3 Century (Emily Garrison, Lily Rittenhouse, Audra Wagstaff, Sophia Blixt) 1:49.17.

200 freestyle — 1. Julia Ogren (JM) 1:53.94, 2. Avery Severson (Cent) 1:54.88.

200 IM — 4. Gustafson (Mayo) 2:08.50.

50 freestyle — 1. Boorjian (Mayo) 23.78, 3. Katherine Homme (Cent) 24.11, 4. Blixt (Cent) 24.24.

Diving — 3. Abigail Wigle (Mayo) 310.00.

100 butterfly — 2. Garrison (Cent) 57.91, 4. Wagstaff.

100 freestyle — 2. Blixt (Cent) 53.24.

500 freestyle — 1. Boorjian (Mayo) 5:05.88, 2. Katherine Homme (Cent) 5:16.13.

200 freestyle relay — 1. Century (Blixt, Severson, Sarah Homme, Katherine Homme) 1:38.25.

100 breaststroke — 1. Gustafson (Mayo) 1:03.97, 4. (tie) Patten (Cent) 1:07.01.

400 freestyle relay — 2. Century (Garrison, Severson, Katherine Homme, Patten) 3:35.60, 3. Mayo (Boorjian, Gau, Gustavson, Ellie Porrata) 3:37.54.

CLASS AA STATE MEET

WHERE: University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.

WHEN: The diving preliminary round is on Thursday. The swimming prelim round is on Friday. The swimming and diving championship finals and consolation finals are on Saturday. Each sessions begins at noon.

AUSTIN, RED WING STATE QUALIFIERS:

(Includes section finish and time )

50 freestyle — 2. Olivia Walsh (Aus) 24.73, 3. Teegan Beyers (RW) 24.80.

100 freestyle — 3. Walsh (Aus) 53.99.

200 freestyle relay — 2. Red Wing (Kyrrah Mullaney, Emma Hoppman, Beyers, Sarah Kolby) 1:41.91.

400 freestyle relay — 1. Red Wing (Ari Holzer, Hoppman, Kolby, Beyers) 3:43.36.

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